The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Close-helmet for the field and joust, with lining
  • Close-helmet for the field and joust, with lining
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1560
  • Iron or steel and textile
  • Weight: 3.26 kg
  • A169
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This close-helmet is typical of field helmets worn by men-at-arms of the mid- sixteenth century. However it also exhibits mounting points for reinforcing plates, so it was also intended to serve in certain forms of the joust and tourney. It is made up of five parts: skull with comb of graceful keel-form, slightly roped, with four sets of four holes near its lower edge at the back, presumably for lining-laces, and retaining its original quilted and padded lining; visor with two horizontal sights, the lower edge salient and strongly flanged to fit into the bevor, to which it is fastened by a spring-catch; there are two holes on either side for the attachment of a reinforcing-plate for tilting. The spring-catch of the visor was originally operated by a thong as on A170. The breaths in the right side of the visor, seven rectangular ones surrounded by thirteen circular ones, are crudely pierced. The upper bevor is pierced on the left side with a circle of seven holes, and on the right with twenty, oblong and circular; it is secured to the cheek-piece with a spring-catch. The lower bevor locks to the skull by means of a spring- loaded catch on the right; lower bevor, pierced on either side with a group of seven holes and fastening with a spring-catch; the lower edge is flanged like the skull to receive the gorget-plates, and bordered with steel-headed rivets. Neck-plates of two lames, each with shaped edges at the centres, the lower lame is bordered with a sunken V-shaped band and a roped edge. The upper edges of the neck-plates are cut at their centres to resemble brackets. The visor and bevor do not fit very closely and may have come from another helmet, and the gorget-plates also may not belong. Signs of use are two small, but deep, dents on the left side of the skull, and the comb is damaged at the back.