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Burgonet: HEN.M.79-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Burgonet, for infantry or light cavalry use. Formed of a broad, rounded, one-piece skull and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces of which the right is a modern restoration. The skull is decorated on its top with three widely-spaced, low, roped combs that diverge slightly towards the front. Its lower edge is flanged outwards at the front and rear, and cut away in a large arch at each side to accommodate the cheek-pieces. The apex of each arch is cut with a shallow, rectangular notch to accommodate the hinge of the cheek-piece. The horizontal edge of the notch is decorated with v-shaped nicks. The base of the skull is fitted with seven externally-flush lining-rivets at the front, and was formerly fitted with the same number of such lining-rivets at the rear, of which the second from the right is now missing, and the third and fifth from right now lack their flat, internal heads. Fragments of the leather lining-bands survive under some of the rivets at both the front and rear. The front and back of the skull are each pierced at the level of the ends of the roped combs with four pairs of lace-holes. The centres of both the front and rear flanges have been cracked. That at the rear has been repaired by an internal patch which is bent around the angle of the flange and secured by four externally-flush rivets. A pair of later holes straddles the patch, as also the crack at the front. The cheek-pieces overlap the skull and are connected to it by plain, internal hinges with slightly rounded ends, secured by pairs of externally-flush rivets, all having large, flat internal heads except on the left cheek-piece where the rivets have small heads with circular, internal washers. The cheek-pieces have convex upper edges, matching the profiles of the arched cut-outs at either side of the skull. Their lower edges, in continuation of the front and rear lower edges of the skull, are flanged outwards, except at their centres where they each dip to a rounded central point pierced with a pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of a missing chin-strap. Each cheek-piece is pierced towards its upper end with a circle of eight holes surrounding a further single hole at its centre. The left cheek-piece is fitted just below this group of holes with a horizontal row of four externally-flush lining-rivets, in continuation of the rows of lining-rivets at the brow and nape of the skull. The second from front rivet on the cheek-piece lacks its flat, internal head. The front and rear rivets retain fragments of the leather lining-bands. The right cheek-piece, which is a modern restoration, is not fitted with lining-rivets. Neither is its upper edge which is decorated with v-shaped nicks at the hinge, as is the left cheek-piece.


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: 25.4 cm
Height: 21.0 cm
Weight: 1.238 kg
Width: 22.5 cm

Relative size of this object

22.5 cm21 cm25.4 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


Mid-16th Century
Circa 1530 CE - 1540 CE


South German

The helmet has a black-from-the-hammer finish which has suffered some wear, most notably on the combs, and some light corrosion.

This type of helmet appears sometimes to have been covered with fabric. Other examples can be recorded in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Historisches Museum der Stadt, Munich.

Components of the work

Lining-bands composed of leather ( fragments)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a broad, rounded, one-piece skull and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces of whixh the right is a modern restoration; hammered, shaped, riveted, with V-shape nicks decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.79-1933
Primary reference Number: 18486
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 20 March 2012 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

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 (2022) "Burgonet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-08 05:45:04

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{{cite web|url= |title=Burgonet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-08 05:45:04|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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