Skip to main content

Close helmet: HEN.M.73-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Close helmet, for heavy cavalry use, later modified for use in the annual Giuoco del Ponte in Pisa. Formed of a skull with a bevor and barred face-defence attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear. The rounded, one-piece skull rises to a moderately high medial comb, decorated with file-roping at its crest. It is repaired at the brow and at each side with large riveted internal patches. Attached by a pair of round-headed rivets at its nape is a slightly tapering, tubular plume-holder with integral arms. The pivots that secure the bevor and face-defence to each side of the skull take the form of crude, low-domed rivets with large, circular external washers. The bevor is weakly shaped to the point of the chin and is repaired with a riveted internal patch at the centre of its U-shaped face-opening which has been cut at its upper end, removing a file-roped inward turn still surviving at its lower end. It is also repaired with riveted internal patches at its pivot-holes. Its lower rear corners have been cu t to allow it to fit the skull with which it is clearly associated. The later face-defence is formed of a simple frame to which vertical bars of a rounded section have been riveted by their spatulate upper and lower ends. A pierced D-shaped stud riveted at each side of the chin of the face-opening is engaged by a long, flat swivel-hook riveted at each side of the bevor. The flanged lower edges of the skull and the bevor are each fitted with a single short gorget-plate. The front gorget-plate is of crude make and clearly a later association. The lower edges of the gorget-plates have plain inward turns. That of the rear gorget-plates has a file-roped inward turn. The skull is decorated to either side of its comb with two groups of triple incised lines. Similar decoration borders the upper edge of the rear gorget-plate. The rear and upper edges of the bevor are decorated with pairs of incised lines.


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: 29 cm
Height: 33 cm
Weight: 2.31 kg
Width: 21.5 cm

Relative size of this object

21.5 cm33 cm29 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/17th century
Circa 1590 - 1600


The helmet has suffered much damage. It is bright with a fairly heavy pitting and patination overall.

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull with a bevor and barred face-defence attached to it by common pivots, and a single gorget-plate front and rear; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped and incised decoration

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: G
  • Location: To left side of nape
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: stands for Galleria Primi, in which armour for the Giuoco del Ponte di Pisa was kept

  • Text: P
  • Location: To right side of nape
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark

Inscription present: tag with number '9'

  • Text: 9
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.73-1933
Primary reference Number: 18447
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: 2023-03-21 01:56:37

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Close helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-03-21 01:56:37|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

More objects and works of art you might like

Close helmet

Accession Number: HEN.M.75-1933


Accession Number: GR.B.6


Accession Number: GR.1.1896


Accession Number: GR.B.5

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...