The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Morion
  • Morion
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1570
  • Iron or steel, embossed, engraved and chased
  • Height: 31.3 cm
    Weight: 2.2 kg
  • Inscription: 'H' of 'HP' in monogram Possibly the decorator's mark
  • A119
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Combed morion having a high comb, chased with a series of oval, conjoined cartouches enclosing representations of weapons. The skull, now blackened, has been embossed with a depiction of the Rape of Helen on the one side, and a battle scene, with the city of Troy in the background on the other; the close-set compositions are bordered by scrolled strapwork, with masks above and below, and supported on either side with figures of captives seated; the brim, peaked in the front and rear, is engraved with foliage, bordered with a band of guilloche and roped. There is a small break in the comb and another on one side of the brim.

    In the past this helmet has been thought to be Italian or Flemish, but has now been firmly identified as a French work, decorated in the style of Etienne Delaune. The style of decoration, with embossed figures in very low relief, combined with both etched and engraved decoration, indicates very strongly the French origin of the piece. The scroll beside each of the captives is engraved H, or HP in monogram, possibly the initial or initials of the decorator.