The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Close-helmet with falling buffe
  • Close-helmet with falling buffe
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France or Flanders
  • c. 1630
  • Steel, embossed and incised
  • Height: 32.3 cm
    Weight: 4.564 kg
  • A184
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Close-helmet of burgonet form, the skull thrown into boxed flutes, the ridges roped and meeting at the apex, to which is applied an ornament embossed and cut to the shape of a sun's rays. This is secured by a vase-shaped finial. The back of the skull is reinforced by two plates riveted to the inner side. Steel plume-holder at the back of the neck. Moveable peak pivoted at the sides, the front edge turned over and roped; on it are continued the roped fluting and etched lines of the skull.
    Falling bfe ff of three plates, the sight being formed by the space between the upper edge and the skull. The top plate is embossed with a horizontal projection pierced with six breaths on either side. The three plates are held in position by spring-catches; the bottom plate is pivoted on two pins, and the whole buffe may be removed by levering this plate off the pins. Bevor secured to the skull by a hook-and-eye on the right side.
    Three gorget-plates, front and back, the edges bevelled and cusped. The bottom plate in each case has a roped edge.
    The decoration consists of incised triple lines bordering the lames and between the flutes on the skull, and a profusion of steel-headed rivets on the gorget-plates.

    The sun on the apex suggests the reign of Louis XIV, but the form of the helmet is that of a cuirassier armour of the first half of the seventeenth century.