The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Armet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1520
  • Iron or steel and textile
  • Weight: 3.385 kg
  • Armourer's mark Badly stamped; not definitely an armourer's mark
  • A151
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Armet, composed of five parts: skull, with a boxed medial ridge (pierced with a keyhole-slot for a plume or crest) ending in a narrow tail beneath the cheek-pieces, which are kept in position by an oval stud, which replaces the original post for a rondel; strong brow reinforcing plate in front, similarly ridged to fit over the brow, cusped, and turned over to form a flange along the upper edge of the face-opening; cheek-pieces, hinged at the top, the left overlapping the right in front, turned-over edges at the face-opening, the lower edge being holed for the attachment of a mail aventail, the edges meet at the back over the tail-piece of the skull, the lower edge at the neck is not turned over, and there is a piece cut out in front opposite the mouth; visor, with the sight formed by the aperture between its upper edge and the brow; there are no breaths, but a hole on the right side shows where a tilting peg was fixed; it is pivoted at the sides and made detachable on the hinge-and-pin principle (see also Wallace Collection A152-3). It is secured to the right cheek-piece by a hook-and-eye. The helmet is held together around the neck by a strap which issues from slits in the left cheek-piece. There is a badly stamped armourer's mark at the back of the skull.

    The skull illustrates the later evolution of the fifteenth-century armet, as illustrated by the skull of Wallace Collection A152. The visor of A152 like this one dates from the early sixteenth century, and both have convex profiles to the lower part of the visors. The visor of this example is very heavy, and the thickness varies drastically from the front (6mm thick) to the sides (-2mm). The guarded visor pivots are also typical of the very late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries. A similar helmet is shown in the portrait of Galeazzo Sanvitale by Parmigianino, dated 1524, in the Galleria Nazionale, Naples (cat. no. 111).