Skip to main content

Spanish morion: HEN.M.43-1933

Object information




'Spanish' morion, for infantry use, with etched decoration. Formed in one piece with an almond-shaped crown that rises to a short, backward-directed 'stalk' at its apex; and a narrow, integral brim that is turned down evenly all round. The edge of the brim has a file-roped inward turn. A large section of the right side, and a smaller section of the left side of the brim are each restored with riveted internal patches. The front and rear of the brim have each been pierced with later wiring-holes. The front hole has subsequently been plugged with an externally-flush rivet. The base of the crown is encircled by sixteen modern lining-rivets, all of which are of brass-capped, round-headed form with circular internal washers, except for one at the left side which has a flat, internal head and is externally flush. The rivets retain a modern leather lining-band. The central pair of rivets at each side also retain the remains of the connecting-leather for the missing cheek-pieces.
The crown of the helmet is decorated with eight vertical bands of etched trophies on a stippled and blackened ground that radiate from its apex which is etched with acanthus foliage. All eight bands are enclosed to either side by three narrower bands, of which the central one is decorated with guilloche and the other two remain plain. A band of guilloche enclosed by a pair of plain bands also decorates the base of the skull. The brim of the helmet is decorated with a band of cabling enclosed by a pair of plain narrow bands.


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: 25.9 cm
Height: 21.3 cm
Weight: 1.43 kg
Width: 23.1 cm

Relative size of this object

23.1 cm21.3 cm25.9 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


Late 16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1590


North Italian

The helmet is bright with a light to fairly heavy patination overall. Its ornament shows some wear. The surface of the metal shows some evidence of delamination, particularly on the right side.

Components of the work

Lining-band composed of leather ( modern) Lining-rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy) Decoration Ground Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed in one piece with an almond-shaped crown that rises to a short, backward-directed 'stalk' at its apex; and a narrow, integral brim that is turned down evenly all round; hammered, shaped, riveted, with etched and file-roped decoration on a blackened ground
Patinating Forming

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.43-1933
Primary reference Number: 18311
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 13 January 2012 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) "Spanish morion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-07-02 23:54:30

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Spanish morion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-07-02 23:54:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...