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Spanish morion: HEN.M.46-1933

Object information

Current Location: In storage






'Spanish' morion, for infantry use, with modern 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 slightly all round and projects as a rounded point at the front and rear. The edge of the brim has a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a narrow, recessed border. The base of the crown is encircled by eighteen modern, round-headed, brass lining-rivets. Pierced at the nape, just above the level of the lining-rivets, are a pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of a missing plume-holder.
The apex of the crown is etched with four radiating, stylised acanthus leaves. The brim is etched with trophies, musical instruments, dolphins and fabulous animals and birds on a stippled and blackened ground. The base of the crown shows traces of narrow etched bands. The recessed border of the brim is etched with cabling. The treatment of the etching, taken in conjunction with its freshness relative to the heavily cleaned surface of the helmet as a whole, suggests that it was applied to the latter in modern times. From the evidence of the worn, etched bands around the base of the crown, however, it is conceivable that the modern etching either replaces or enhances the remains of earlier etching.


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: 32.0 cm
Height: 25.8 cm
Weight: 1.36 kg
Width: 23.0 cm

Relative size of this object

23 cm25.8 cm32 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
Circa 1580 - 1590


North Italian

The helmet is bright with a light patination overall. Its metal shows evidence of delamination inside the crown, and has broken through at the left rear of the base of the crown.

Components of the work

Lining-rivets composed of brass (alloy)

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 slightly all round and projects as a rounded point at the front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with a recessed border, with etched and file-roped decoration on a blackened ground

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.46-1933
Primary reference Number: 18318
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 16 January 2017 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Spanish morion" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-31 16:49:17

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{{cite web|url= |title=Spanish morion |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-05-31 16:49:17|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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