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Zischägge: HEN.M.95-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown (Possibly)




Zischägge, for use by an harquebusier, with punched, engraved and gilt decoration. Formed of a one-piece skull, a peak, a sliding nasal-bar, a neck-defence of five lames, and a pair of cheek-pieces. The hemispherical skull is decorated around its base with a raised band separated at an interval from a recessed band, and above them with radiating flutes of V-shaped section separated by raised ribs. Riveted at the apex of the skull is a moulded finial that retains a large fretted brass washer bearing punched ornament. The flat peak, which is attached at the brow of the skull by six round-headed rivets with square internal washers, projects forward to a truncated, acute, central point. The peak is pierced at its centre with a rectangular hole to receive the sliding nasal-bar which is secured at the brow of the skull by a rectangular staple and locking-screw. The upper end of the nasal-bar is of fretted, leaf-shaped form, and its lower end is fitted with a mushroom-shaped stud that serves as a stop. The broad, flaring neck-defence is formed of five upward-overlapping lames with cusped upper edges. The lower edge of the last lame, which is deeper than the rest, projects to a truncated acute central point. The lames are connected to one another and to the skull at each side by round-headed rivets with square internal washers, and were formerly connected to one another medially by an internal leather. The free edge of the neck-defence is bordered by lining-rivets. The cheek-pieces are stepped at their upper edges where they fit under the skull. Their sides curve in to a truncated point at their lower ends. The centre of each cheek-piece is decorated with a recessed boss that is pierced with five circular ventilation-holes. The cheek-pieces are attached to the skull by pairs of modern internal leathers that run down their sides as lining-bands and converge at their lower ends to form loops that served to lace them together beneath the chin.
The peak, the neck-defence and the cheek-pieces have plain inward turns or partial turns. The helmet is decorated with recessed bands and borders of punched, engraved and gilt scrolling foliage.


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: 38.0 cm
Height: 25.0 cm
Weight: 1.86 kg
Width: 26.0 cm

Relative size of this object

26 cm25 cm38 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


Late 17th Century
Production date: circa AD 1680


The cheek-pieces, the sliding nasal-bar and its locking-screw are modern restorations.

The helmet is bright with a light to medium patination overall. Its gilding is worn.

Components of the work

Internal Leathers composed of leather ( modern)
Decoration composed of gilt
Washer composed of brass (alloy)
Band, Ribs

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a one-piece skull, a peak, a fretted sliding nasal-bar, a neck-defence of five lames, and a pair of cheek-pieces with pierced ventilation-holes; hammered, shaped, riveted, with fluted, raised, recessed, engraved and punched decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.95-1933
Primary reference Number: 18545
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 23 April 2012 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Zischägge" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-31 15:10:35

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{{cite web|url= |title=Zischägge |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-31 15:10:35|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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