The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Zischägge
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • South Germany
  • c. 1550 - c. 1560
  • Steel and copper alloy
  • Weight: 1.39 kg
  • A101
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Zischägge, or burgonet of East European/Ottoman form. To the front of the hemispherical skull a narrow, pointed peak has been applied; this plate has been pierced for a nasal, now missing, and the edge turned under and decorated with a row of brass-headed rivets. A neck-guard of two plates is attached at the back of the skull, the lower plate secured by sliding rivets and decorated like the peak; the surface is divided vertically into eight fluted segments radiating from the apex of the skull, and is decorated with small arabesque strapwork etched and gilt, with a broad band of strapwork arabesques round the lower part. At the apex is a finial comprising a fir-cone and leaves made of brass; around the brow are flat-headed, brass-capped rivets. Applied to the skull are a number of brass plaques, incised with swastika-shaped grooves. The ear-pieces are missing. The piece is probably intended to follow the
    Polish or Hungian style, but possibly was made in Germany.

    The brass plaques are secured on the inside by projecting screws and washers, and like the acorn finial are almost certainly later additions. Similar brass plaques are sometimes found nailed to the staves of staff weapons. Denkmaler, 1896, No. 85, relates a similar helmet in the Hofjagd -und Rüstkammer, Vienna, to the equipment of the 'hussar' tournaments held by the Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol at Prague in 1549 and 1557. Similar helmets, together with their laminated cuirasses, are at Vienna (inv. no. A1618) and in the Kienbusch collection in the Philadelphia
    Museum of Art, (Cat. no. 31, PL XXIX; inv. no. 1977-167-31). Other helmets are in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (inv. no. 14.25.601), and in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum, Ingolstadt (inv. no. A11667). Another cuirass is in the Odescalchi collection at the Palazzo Venezia, Rome (inv. No. 1567; Carpegna, 1969, No. 111).