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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

Relative size of this object

21.1 cm26.1 cm33.5 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
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: 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: 2022-12-07 06:55:30

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{{cite web|url= |title=Burgonet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-07 06:55:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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