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Burgonet: HEN.M.87-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Production: Unknown




Burgonet, for light cavalry use, decorated in the 'black and white' fashion. Formed of a two-piece skull with an integral peak and neck-defence, and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces. The rounded skull is made in two halves joined along the crest of a fairly high medial comb by a turn to the left, and along the centres of the peak and neck-defence by riveted overlaps. Each overlap is secured by a pair of externally-flush rivets. The lower rivet of the neck-defence is missing. A later wiring-hole has been pierced just to the left of it. The peak and neck-defence both have curved edges projecting to an obtuse central point. The point of the neck-defence has been damaged. The lower front edge of the skull is 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 skull is fitted with six lining-rivets around the brow and a further six around the nape. All are of round-headed form except for the outer two at the brow, which are externally-flush to allow the overlap of the cheek-pieces. The cheek-pieces are attached to the skull by plain, internal hinges with cropped corners, secured by pairs of round-headed rivets. The left hinge and its rivets are modern replacements. The front and lower edges of the cheek-pieces are very slightly convex. The lower edges are flanged outwards to form a continuation of the neck-defence. The upper and rear edges curve in to a straight section at the hinge. The centre of each cheek-piece is decorated with a single, round-headed rivet. Attached within the lower front corner of the left cheek-piece by a modern, externally-flush rivet is a modern, single-ended, tongued, iron buckle with a rectangular loop and plain hasp, which engages a modern leather strap attached by a further modern, externally-flush rivet within the lower front corner of the right cheek-piece. The main edges of the peak, the cheek-pieces and the neck-defence have plain, inward turns accompanied by a narrow groove and a raised border. Raised bands, which flare distally where they merge with the border, decorate the centre of the peak and neck-defence. A broad, raised band decorates each side of the skull, and a narrower raised band decorates the upper and rear edges of each cheek-piece. The crest of the comb is decorated at each side with a narrow groove matching that of the main edges.


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: 33.5 cm
Height: 26.1 cm
Weight: 1.27 kg
Width: 21.1 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Circa 1600 CE - 1610 CE


South German

The helmet has a 'black from the hammer' finish, now extensively worn and oxidised to a russet colour in parts, with a bright comb, bands and borders showing a medium pitting and patination. The surface of the helmet shows evidence of the delamination of the metal at many points.

Components of the work

Strap composed of leather ( modern)
Buckle composed of iron (metal)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a two-piece skull with an integral peak and neck-defence, and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces; hammered, shaped, riveted, with a raised and grooved border and 'black from the hammer' finish

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.87-1933
Primary reference Number: 18524
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 30 November 2020 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 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) "Burgonet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-09-24 18:56:20

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{{cite web|url= |title=Burgonet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-09-24 18:56:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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