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Close helmet: HEN.M.68-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown (Probably)




Close helmet, for use by a cuirassier. Formed of a skull with a visor, an upper bevor and a bevor attached to it by common pivots, and three modern gorget-plates front and rear. The skull is formed in two halves joined by a turn to the left along a low medial comb that rises to a point at its apex where it is pierced with a hole for the attachment of a missing finial. It is decorated at the apex with a circle of almond-shaped lobes, and elsewhere with radiating flutes of V-shaped section. A round-headed rivet and rosette-washer located at each side of the neck of the skull served to secure a strap that fastened around the front of the bevor. Attached by a total of six rivets at the nape is a large, tapering, tubular plume-holder of iron, decorated on its body with diagonal lines and slashes, and at its damaged upper edge with fleurs-de-lis, repeated at the terminals of its integral arms. The pivots that secure the visor, the upper bevor and the bevor to the skull, take the form of large brass rivets with radially-fluted domed heads and circular internal washers. The visor has a stepped, centrally divided vision-slit. Its brow is decorated with flutes, forming a continuation of those of the skull. The lower edge of the visor is angled inwards to nestle within the upper bevor. The upper bevor is cut at the right side of its upper edge with a small rectangular notch to accommodate a lifting-peg. The lower edge of the visor appears only to be punched with a dot at the point where the lifting-peg should be riveted. Each side of the upper bevor is decorated with a total of twenty-one modern, round-headed brass rivets in a quatrefoil formation, possibly occupying what were originally ventilation-holes. Riveted at the right of the chin of the upper bevor is a modern pierced brass staple that formerly received a now incomplete brass swivel-hook riveted at the right of the chin of the bevor. The medially-ridged bevor is strongly shaped to the chin and cut with a broad, U-shaped face-opening. The helmet is fitted with three modern, upward-overlapping gorget-plates front and rear. The lower edge of the third lame in each instance has a plain inward turn. That of the front plate is more markedly convex than that at the rear. The crest of the comb, the face-opening of the skull and bevor, the edges of the vision-slit of the visor and the upper edge of the upper bevor all have file-roped inward turns bordered by single incised lines which, except on the gorget-plates, also border the secondary edges of the helmet. All the brass rivets and fittings of the helmet are modern.


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: 34.0 cm
Height: 38.0 cm
Weight: 3.10 kg
Width: 26.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Circa 1620 - 1630


The helmet is bright with a fairly heavy pitting and patination overall. That on the gorget-plates is artificially induced.

Probably Flemish

Components of the work

Plume-holder composed of iron (metal)
Rivets composed of brass (alloy)
Staple composed of brass (alloy)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull with a visor, an upper bevor and a medially-ridged bevor attached to it by common pivots, and three modern gorget-plates front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with fluted, file-roped, and riveted decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.68-1933
Primary reference Number: 18415
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 5 October 2012 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 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 (2024) "Close helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-22 12:57:07

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-22 12:57:07|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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