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Close helmet: HEN.M.65-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Unknown (Uncertain)




Close helmet, for heavy cavalry use, with later embossed and chased decoration. Formed of a skull with a visor, upper bevor and bevor attached to it by common pivots; one front gorget-plate and three rear gorget-plates. The one-piece skull rises to a high, roped, medial comb. Its face-opening shows later trimming. It is pierced at each side with nine circular ventilation-holes in rosette-formation, and at the nape with a pair of holes for a missing plume-holder. The visor slopes forward at the brow to a centrally-divided vision-slit, and is fitted at the right side with a modern lifting-peg. The right of the prow-shaped visor is pierced with nine circular ventilation-slots in rosette-formation. Its upper edge is cut with a V-shaped notch to accommodate the lifting-peg of the visor. The bevor is strongly shaped to the chin. The edge of the face-opening has a file-roped inward turn. Modern swivel-hooks and pierced studs riveted at the right side of the helmet secure the upper bevor to the bevor, and the bevor to the skull. The front gorget-plate is restored. A further two front gorget-plates would originally have existed. The lowest lame of the rear gorget-plate is also restored. It has a plain inward turn at its lower edge.
The helmet is decorated overall, except on the rear gorget-plates, with bands of stylised scrolling foliage and fabulous beasts involving oval circular cartouches containing classical figures and busts, embossed in low relief and chased against a stippled ground. The main bands are separated by narrow bands of guilloche which are repeated at the upper and lateral edges of the rear gorget-plates.


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: 32.3 cm
Height: 31 cm
Weight: 3.15 kg
Width: 23 cm

Relative size of this object

23 cm31 cm32.3 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


16th century
19th/20th Century
Circa 1570 - Circa 1800 - 1933


The helmet is bright with a medium patination overall.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull with a visor, upper bevor and bevor attached to it by common pivots; one front gorget-plate and three rear gorget-plates; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roping, embossed and chased decoration on a stippled ground

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.65-1933
Primary reference Number: 18396
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 2023

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 (2023) "Close helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-02 14:23:49

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-02 14:23:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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