The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Close-helmet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Probably Innsbruck, Germany
  • c. 1550
  • Steel, copper alloy and gold, once blued
  • Height: 26.1 cm
    Weight: 3.07 kg
  • A166
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Close-helmet for the filed, having a skull with a graceful medial keel, the ridge slightly roped and pierced with two small holes, and on either side at the back four more arranged in two pairs. Further forward are two pairs of brass-headed rivets, one of each having an exceptionally large head. The skull is secured to the chin-piece by a spring-catch. At the base is a row of steel-headed lining rivets. The helmet is of the type which fits over the top plate of the gorget, and in this example the circular hollow rim is made of a separate piece riveted to the base of the skull. At the base of the comb is a gilt-brass plume-holder stamped with arabesques and strapwork. There are faint traces of the original blued surface round the lining-strap rivets above the face-opening. The visor is cut with two horizontal sights, below which it is thrown out a strong protective ridge. On the right side are five slits for ventilation. The short lifting-peg also actuates a spring-catch which secures the visor to the upper bevor. This latter is pierced on the right side with eight key-hole slits and four holes for ventilation, and a hole for the spring-catch which secures it to the chin-piece. The chin-piece or lower bevor is pierced on either side with a circle of eleven holes for hearing, and furnished with a spring-catch for the bevor. The base is bordered with steel-headed lining-strap rivets, and the flange for the gorget is riveted on like that of the skull. All four parts of the helmet turn on the same two pivots, which are capped with hemispherical, slotted nuts.

    This helmet has been converted to turn on the gorget. Originally it was fitted with its own gorget-plates. The spring-loaded catch locking the skull to the lower bevor on the right side was originally secured by means of a hook, the point of which passed through the end of the locking-pin. The visor-prop is missing.