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Pot helmet: HEN.M.50-1933

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Unknown (Production)


Pot helmet for use by a pikeman. Formed in two halves joined medially by a turn along a moderately high comb, and by a riveted overlap at the front and rear ends of a broad, downturned integral brim. The brim has a plain inward turn accompanied by a recessed border containing thirty-three round-headed lining-rivets with circular internal washers. The base of the crown is encircled by twenty-two round-headed lining-rivets. The crown is decorated around its base and to either side of its comb with pairs of incised lines. The helmet lacks its cheek-pieces.


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: 44.5 cm
Height: 25.7 cm
Weight: 1.46 kg
Width: 28.4 cm

Relative size of this object

28.4 cm25.7 cm44.5 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.

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 17th Century
Production date: circa AD 1630


English, London

Possibly one of a series made to complete a group of Dutch pikeman's cuirasses captured by the English from the French Admiral Toiras in 1627.

The helmet is bright with a light to medium patination overall.

This type of simple helmet was worn in northern Europe during the first half of the 17th century by lightly armoured infantry or foot soldiers. Originally it had two cheekpieces, hanging down on either side of the face through which a ribbon or lace was threaded and tied under the chin to hold it in place on the head. This was the type of helmet worn by the infantry in the British Civil Wars of the 1640s. It has the mark of the Armourers Company of London before 1649 – the letter A with a crown and an unknown makers mark, the letter W.

Components of the work

Border Decoration Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed in two halves joined medially by a turn along a moderately high comb, and by a riveted overlap at the front and rear ends of a broad, downturned integral brim; hammered, shaped, riveted, decorated with a recessed border and incised lines

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: with the crowned A mark used by the Armourers' Company of London before 1649, and a maker's mark consisting of the letter W

  • Location: One end of brim
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark
  • Text: 127
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.50-1933
Primary reference Number: 18326
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 19 April 2021 Last processed: Tuesday 20 April 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) "Pot helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-07 23:01:35

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pot helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-07 23:01:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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