The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Close-helmet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1600
  • Iron or steel, copper alloy and gold, etched and gilt
  • Height: 28 cm
    Weight: 4.09 kg
  • A177
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Close-helmet, composed of four parts: skull with low comb (not roped), and pierced laterally at the back for a plume, with a tubular plume-holder of brass stamped with diagonal S's (compare the plume-holder of A138). The lower edge roped and hollowed to fit over the top plate of the gorget; heavy visor reaching far back over the brow, with two horizontal sights, the lower edge salient and pierced roughly at a later date, with holes for ventilation. The upper bevor is a restoration; chin-plate or lower bevor, the lower edge hollowed to receive the gorget, and bordered with steel-headed rivets for the lining band; on the right side is a steel hinge pierced with a keyhole slot to engage the turning-pin on the skull; it has been damaged and repaired at the chin. This lower visor is an inaccurate restoration.
    The surfachas been etched with bands of trophies on a granulated ground, formerly gilt; the salient, lower part of the visor also bears a band of acanthus leaves. It shows the marks of nine cuts on the brow.

    This helmet was probably originally intended for tournament combat on foot at the barriers. A number of other surviving examples are similarly of heavy construction and scarred with multiple sword-cuts.