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Close helmet: HEN.M.72-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Close helmet, for use by a cuirassier. Form a skull, a pivoted peak with a separate face-defence, a bevor attached to the skull by the same pivots as the peak, and a single gorget-plate front and rear. The rounded skull is formed in two halves joined by a turn to the right along a low medial comb. The right side of the skull shows an extensive brazed repair. The short, narrow peak which is attached to the skull by modern round-head pivots with square internal nuts, project forward to an obtuse central point. Its front edge has a plain inward turn accompanied by a recessed border. Attached within the lower edge of the peak by six modern round-headed rivets is a medially-ribbed U-shaped face-defence with a narrow recessed border. It is cut at its upper end with a pair of broad vision-slits, each of which has a plain inward turn at its lower edge. The face-defence is pierced at its centre with a group of nine small circular ventilation-holes in rosette formation, and to either side with a group of five similar ventilation-holes, also in rosette formation. Each of the outer groups is encircled by four diagonal ventilation slots decorated mid-way down each side with small circular holes that break into them. The medially-ridged bevor is shaped to the chin and cut with a broad U-shaped face-opening, the edge of which has a plain, inward partial turn bordered originally by six externally-flush lining rivets of which one is now missing. A swivel-hook riveted at the right of the neck of the bevor engages a pierced stud riveted at the right of the neck of the skull. The front and rear gorget-plates are respectively secured to the flanged lower edges of the bevor and the skull by pairs of modern round-headed rivets with square internal washers. The lower edge of the front gorget-plate descends to an obtuse central point while that of the rear gorget-plates is rounded. The lower edges of both gorget-plates have plain inward turns accompanied by recessed borders containing modern lining-rivets with square internal washers. The secondary edges of the helmet were originally decorated with single incised lines of which only traces remain.


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: 25.5 cm
Height: 31.8 cm
Weight: 1.66 kg
Width: 24.4 cm

Relative size of this object

24.4 cm31.8 cm25.5 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.

Acquisition and important dates

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


Early 17th Century
Production date: circa AD 1630


South German

The helmet is bright with medium patination overall.

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Form a skull, a pivoted peak with a separate face-defence, a bevor attached to the skull by the same pivots as the peak, and a single gorget-plate front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with recessed borders, ventilation holes and traces of incised decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: green tag numbered '213'

  • Text: 213
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.72-1933
Primary reference Number: 18446
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: 2023-03-25 11:27:32

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-25 11:27:32|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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