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Close helmet: HEN.M.17A-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Close helmet, for use by a cuirassier, composed of elements of a similar period and fashion. The close helmet is formed of a skull with a peak, an upper bevor and a bevor attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear. The skull is formed in two halves joined medially along a riveted overlap to the right. The crown of the skull is decorated with radiating flutes of V-shaped section, emphasised by single incised lines. Riveted at its apex is a pierced finial with a large star-shaped washer, probably replaced. Attached at the nape by a pair of round-headed rivets is a modern, tapering, tubular plume-holder with integral arms. The modern pivots that retain the peak, upper bevor and bevor consist of cross-cut, round-headed screws with square internal nuts. The narrow peak is slightly downturned. Its front edge projects forward to an obtuse central point. Its upper edge is decorated with a series of nine low cusps. The medially-ridged upper bevor is cut at its upper edge with a deep rectangular notch forming the lower edge of a vision-slit that is divided at its centre by a long, upward-projecting bar. The lower edge of the notch has a file-roped, partial inward turn. Each side of the upper bevor is pierced with four ventilation-slots that slope outwards very slightly towards their upper end. A lozenge-shaped ventilation slot over the mouth has been closed by a riveted internal patch. The medially-ridged bevor is weakly shaped to the chin and cut with a broad U-shaped face-opening. Riveted at the right of its neck is a swivel-hook that engages a pierced stud riveted at the front edge of the skull. The flanged lower edges of the bevor and the skull are respectively fitted with a front and a rear gorget-plate, each of which is formed in one piece. The lower edge of the front gorget-plate is obtusely-pointed, while that of the rear gorget-plate is rounded. The main edges of the helmet have plain, inward turns accompanied on the peak and the gorget-plates by recessed borders. The subsidiary edges of the helmet are bordered by single incised. Pairs of incised lines decorate the brow of the peak and the upper edge of the upper bevor. Part of the composite three-quarter armour HEN.M.17A-G-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: 28.6 cm
Height: 34.0 cm
Weight: 1.57 kg
Width: 25.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century#
Circa 1620 CE - 1630 CE Circa 1610 CE - 1620 CE


Dutch, partly Flemish and Italian

From its poor fit and differences in its decorative details, it appears likely that the upper bevor is not associated with the bevor. It is conceivable that the peak and bevor were originally made for use without an upper bevor as part of a Dutch harquebusier's close helmet.

The armour is bright with a variable light to medium patination overall. It has suffered some dents, buckles and cracks.

Components of the work

Main Edges
Upper Bevor

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : The close helmet is formed of a skull with a peak, a medially-ridged upper bevor and bevor attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with recessed borders at the main edges and incised decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.17A-1933
Primary reference Number: 17989
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 January 2016 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

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 (2024) "Close helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-03-01 05:50:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-03-01 05:50:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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