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'Venetian' sallet: M.1.5-1936

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Production: Unknown (Probably)




'Venetian' sallet, for field use, later adapted to pageant use. Of deep, one-piece construction with a rounded, medially-ridged crown, a short 'tail' over the neck, and a wide, arched face-opening narrowing slightly towards the bottom. The apex of the crown is pierced with a large keyhole slot for the attachment of a crest. The base of the crown is encircled by thirteen holes for lining-rivets. Beneath them at either side are a further pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of a pair of chin-straps. A pair of rivet-holes also exist at each of the upper corners of the face-opening for the attachment of a reinforcing-strip. Three holes at the brow, two at the nape and another eight at the lower edge of the helmet have been pierced subsequent to manufacture for the attachment of applied ornament. The lower edge of the helmet and of the face-opening have been trimmed at the same time.


History note: The Eglinton Collection, sold Christie's, London, 25 July 1922, lot 21, £131.5s. Mrs E.W. Stead & Mr. Gilbert Stead of Dalston Hall, Cumberland

Legal notes

Given by Mrs E.W. Stead & Mr. Gilbert Stead

Measurements and weight

Depth: 24 cm
Height: 26 cm
Weight: 2.075 kg
Width: 19 cm

Relative size of this object

19 cm26 cm24 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

  • Milan ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1936-01-15) by Stead, E. W. and Gilbert


Mid 15th century
Circa 1450 CE - 1460 CE


North Italian

The helmet is pitted and patinated overall.

This helmet, known as a sallet, was based on those used by the Romans and Greeks and were very fashionable in the second half of the 15th century. The lower edge and the face-opening of this helmet have been trimmed and extra rivet holes made indicating that it has been altered for use in pageants, probably in Venice where such helmets continued to be used in parades until at least the 18th century.

Components of the work


Materials used in production

around 0.3% C, consisting of ferrite and pearlite with slag inclusions. See Documentation, Williams, 2002. Low-carbon steel

Techniques used in production

Hammered : Of deep, one-piece construction with a rounded, medially-ridged crown, a short 'tail' over the neck, and a wide, arched face-opening narrowing slightly towards the bottom; hammered, shaped, riveted

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.1.5-1936
Primary reference Number: 18355
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 14 April 2021 Last processed: Thursday 15 April 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) "'Venetian' sallet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-05-28 19:40:14

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