The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Close-helmet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1610 - c. 1620
  • Low-carbon steel and gold, embossed and gilded
  • Weight: 2.7 kg
  • A174
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Close-helmet for the field, in the French style of the late sixteenth century, the skull made in two pieces joined along the comb; the latter is narrow, and pierced at the side with five holes for the crest. It is turned outwards at the base to form the back of a gorget, and is damaged on the left side (see also A172). This has a doubly-roped border with a plain band between. The visor has a wide sight, and is flanged to fit into the bevor; a hole for a lifting-peg remains; the upper bevor is without holes for breathing, and has on the right side an eye to take a hook (missing); the upper edge has a band roped on each side, as has the gorget; the lower bevor, working on the visor-pivots, is bent outwards at the base to form a frontal gorget. This was originally held closed by a strap and buckle around the front of the throat. The ends would have been secured to the skull by means of the rivet with a large decorative washer on each side.
    The entire surface is embossed with tongues of flame, chased and formerly gilt, much of which remains.

    A portrait of Marshal Agrippa d'Aubigné by Bartholomaus Sarburgh, dated 1622, shows him wearing a deep gorget with very similar decoration to that of A174 (Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel, inv. no. 538). A plain burgonet with 'Hungarian visor' stands on the table beside him. He was a distinguished Protestant poet and commander under Henri IV of France and Navarre (1552-1630).
    A couter of so-called 'bracel'et type, decorated in the same manner, is in the Museo Stibbert, Florence (1917-18 Cat., No. 1030).