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Close helmet: HEN.M.15A-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Close helmet, for use by a cuirassier. The close helmet is formed of a skull with a peak, an upper bevor and a bevor attached to it by common pivots, and two gorget-plates front and rear. The rounded skull rises to a low medial ridge which is file-roped along its crest and pierced to either side with later small holes of uncertain function. Attached by a pair of round-headed rivets at the nape is a tapering tubular plume-holder with integral arms. The pivoted peak projects forward to a rounded central point. Its front edge is cracked at four points. The medially-ridged upper bevor is cut at its upper edge with a centrally-divided, shallow, rectangular notch forming a vision-slit, and pierced with two rows of twelve vertical ventilation-slots. The medially-ridged bevor is shaped to the chin and is cut with a U-shaped face-opening. The upper bevor is secured to the bevor, and the bevor is secured to the skull by swivel-hooks riveted at the right side of the helmet. Part of the composite three-quarter armour HEN.M.15A-F-1933.


History note: Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 26.0 cm
Height: 27.7 cm
Weight: 2.26 kg
Width: 26.0 cm

Relative size of this object

26 cm27.7 cm26 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


17th Century
Production date: circa AD 1620


Now is a russet colour overall, but was originally bright or in parts, perhaps blued

The close helmet, tassets (HEN.M.15F-1933) and rear skirt (HEN.M.15D-1933) are well matched and may originally have belonged to one another, with the exception of the poleyns which are composed of disparate elements and show traces of gilding.

Probably Flemish or French or Italian or German

Components of the work

Upper Bevor

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed of a skull with a peak, an upper bevor and a bevor attached to it by common pivots, and two gorget-plates front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, medially-ridged, with file-roping, incised lines, filed nicks, cusps and ogees and pierced decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.15A-1933
Primary reference Number: 17946
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 January 2016 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Close helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-03 00:00:12

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-03 00:00:12|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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