Skip to main content

Spanish morion: HEN.M.49-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update




'Spanish' morion, for infantry use, with a blackened finish. Formed in one piece with an almond-shaped crown that rises to a backward-directed stalk at its apex, and a flat, narrow, integral brim that projects to an obtuse point at the front and rear. The brim has a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a narrow, recessed border. The base of the crown is encircled by twelve round-headed lining-rivets fitted with external brass rosette washers and circular internal washers. The latter retain the greater part of a linen lining-band and fragments of the leathers for the attachment of the missing cheek-pieces. A pair of holes at the nape originally served to attach a missing plume-holder. The left hole is occupied by a round-headed rivet and rosette washer matching the others. The right hole has at some time been opened out, and then subsequently closed to its original size by welding. The right side of both the crown and the brim have suffered some minor denting.


History note: An undated, illustrated circular, formerly in the possession of Gerald I. Mungcam Esq. (photograph of it held by the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds), shows that this was one of a series of such morions offered for sale by Fenton & Sons, 11 New Oxford Street, London, for a price of £5. 5s. 0d. each. Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 31.8 cm
Height: 22.4 cm
Weight: 1.26 kg
Width: 24.5 cm

Relative size of this object

24.5 cm22.4 cm31.8 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 1580


According to tradition, these morions were supposed to have been acquired by W. H. Fenton from a storehouse in Spain, having been deposited there for use by the Spanish Armada in 1588, but never actually used. However, in a letter dated 23 December 1969, Claude Blair informed Ian Eaves that he had been told by Theodore Egli, late armourer to the Tower of London Armouries, and previously armourer to Samuel Fenton, that 'Fenton' (either W.H. or Samuel Fenton) had bought a whole lot of morions in Ireland between the World Wars.

North Italian

The helmet retains the greater part of its original blackened finish. It shows some minor pitting and oxidation.

The morion forms part of a series of such helmets dispersed by Messrs Fenton & Sons of 11 New Oxford Street, London. Other examples of the series are to be found in the present collection, HEN.M.48-1933, and the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds.

Components of the work

Leathers composed of leather ( fragments) Rosette Washers composed of brass (alloy) Border Decoration Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed in one piece with an almond-shaped crown that rises to a backward-directed stalk at its apex, and a flat, narrow, integral brim that projects to an obtuse point at the front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, decorated with a recessed border, file-roping

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.49-1933
Primary reference Number: 18322
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 14 February 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: 2022-08-19 18:09:20

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=2022-08-19 18:09:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

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...