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Close helmet: HEN.M.70-1933

Object information

Current Location: In storage






Close helmet, for use by a cuirassier. Formed of a skull with a peak, upper bevor and bevor attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear. The rounded skull is formed in two halves joined by a turn to the left along a low, roped, medial comb which shows a crack towards its front end. The front of the skull is cut with a broad face-opening. The outer of six round-headed brass rivets with brass rosette that run around the nape of the skull retain the remains of straps that would originally have been fastened around the front of the bevor. The right side of the skull shows the proof-mark of a bullet. The pivots that retain the peak, upper bevor and bevor are of radially-fluted, low conical form. The flat peak, which is shaped over the front end of the comb of the skull at the brow, and decorated with a file-roped medial rib, projects forward to a damaged central point. The fairly flat, medially-ridged upper bevor is cut at its upper edge with a broad, deep, trapezoidal notch forming the lower edge of a vision slit and over the mouth with a small, horizontal, rectangular ventilation slot. A rectangular sprung stud that protrudes from the upper edge of the upper bevor, just to the right of its centre, supports a shallow falling plate that is attached to the upper bevor at each side by a brass-capped rounded rivet that passes through its lobed lower outer corner. The falling plate is embossed with a prominent transverse rib that is cut with a continuous series of vertical vision-slits and decorated at its centre with a pair of filed scallop shells retaining traces of gilding. The medially-ridged bevor is strongly shaped to the chin and cut with a deep, U-shaped face-opening. The deep front and rear gorget-plates are respectively secured to the flanged lower edges of the bevor and the skull by pairs of brass-capped, round-headed rivets. The lower edge of the gorget-plate descends to an obtuse central plate, while the lower edge of the gorget-plate is rounded. The lower right corner of the rear gorget-plate is buckled. The main edges of the helmet have file-roped inward turns accompanied by recessed borders, except at the brow of the skull where the turn is accompanied by a single incised line. The recessed border at the lower edge of each gorget-plate is linked by a medial recessed band to a further recessed border at its upper edge. The subsidiary edges of the helmet are scalloped and bordered by single incised lines. Each lobe of the scalloped edge is punched with a circle.


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: 33 cm
Height: 32.8 cm
Weight: 4.6 kg
Width: 28.2 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1620


North European

The helmet has a heat-blue finish now partly pitted and oxidised to a russet colour.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of gilt
Rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy)
Rivets composed of brass (alloy)
Falling Plate
Upper Bevor

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull with a peak, medially-ridged upper bevor and bevor attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with fluted, ribbed, incised, file-roped, embossed, filed, scalloped and punched decoration, and recessed borders and traces of gilding

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: bears a green tag numbered '222'

  • Text: 222
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.70-1933
Primary reference Number: 18436
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2020 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: 2024-07-23 21:12:40

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-23 21:12:40|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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