Skip to main content

Burgonet: HEN.M.90-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Burgonet, for light field use, with later embossed decoration. Formed of a skull with an integral peak and neck-defence, and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces. The skull rises to a moderately high medial comb. The broad, slightly downturned peak projects forward to an obtuse central point. The narrow, downturned neck-defence projects backwards to an acute central point. Each cheek-piece has a round upper edge, a centrally-cusped front edge, and short flange at the rear of its lower edge, serving as a continuation of the neck-defence. Both cheek-pieces are modern restorations. A modern plume-holder of brass is attached by a pair of rivets at the nape of the skull.
The main and subsidiary edges of the helmet are decorated with file-roped inward turns accompanied by shallow recessed borders incised with a simple design of alternating scrolls. The recessed borders are themselves bordered by an engrailed band embossed in low relief. The centre of the peak, the centre of the neck-defence and the front and rear ends of the comb are embossed and chased in relief with acanthus foliage. Each side of the comb is embossed and chased in relief on a stippled ground with scrolling foliage and flowerheads separated at the centre by a medusa's head, repeated on each cheek-piece. Each side of the crown is decorated with radiating flutes that issue from a semi-circle of radiating lobes at their upper end, and are separated by small fleurs-de-lis at their lower ends.


History note: From the collection of Fr├ęderic Spitzer of Paris. Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 34.4 cm
Height: 23.2 cm
Weight: 1.08 kg
Width: 21.6 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century
19th Century
Circa 1560 - 1570 Circa 1800 - 1900


North Italian

The helmet is bright with a medium pitting and patination overall.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Plume-holder composed of brass (alloy)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull with an integral peak and neck-defence, and a pair of hinged cheek-pieces; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped, embossed and chased in relief and fluted decoration accompanied by recessed borders on a stippled ground

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: green tag numbered '97'

  • Text: 97
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.90-1933
Primary reference Number: 18537
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Friday 8 December 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 (2024) "Burgonet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-07-15 15:58:06

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Burgonet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-07-15 15:58:06|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:

Sign up for updates

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