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Helmet: HEN.M.103-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Unknown (Probably)




Helmet, of 'spider' form. Formed of a skull that is overlain with a trellised defence fitted with a peak at the front and hinged bars all around. The hemispherical skull is formed of a pate-plate and two side-plates that are joined by brazing. Attached by four externally-flush rivets around the base of the skull is a trellis formed of two horizontal bands and four radiating vertical bars that are joined by brazing. The trellis stands proud of the skull. Brazed to the front of the lower horizontal band is a broad, flat peak with a strongly convex front edge. Seven narrower bands radiate from the apex of the skull to the bottom of the lower horizontal band and its peak. Hinged to the lower end of each of these, as well as three of the broader vertical bars, are a total of ten outward curving bars. All the bars are of slender form except for that at the neck which is considerably broader than the rest. The hinged bars can be folded upwards and secured at the apex of the skull beneath a domed circular plate that can be pressed down over their terminals and held in place by a sprung catch. The catch can be released by pressing down a linked stud that protrudes through a slot cut in the lower half of the front, vertical bar. Riveted at each side of the lower horizontal bar is a horizontal staple, possibly for the attachment of a 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: 34.0 cm
Height: 40.0 cm
Weight: 1.70 kg
Width: 29.5 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


19th Century
Circa 1800 CE - 1900 CE


The helmet is bright with a heavy to medium patination overall.

Two similar helmets were in the Tower of London Armouries, including IV.211 which was sold to the Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery in the 1970s. The second was sold through Sotheby's shortly afterwards. Neither was thought to be authentic.

Components of the work

Skull Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a skull that is overlain with a trellised defence fitted with a peak at the front and hinged bars all around; hammered, shaped, riveted, braze welded and hinged

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.103-1933
Primary reference Number: 18558
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 6 January 2014 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) "Helmet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-13 08:38:54

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Helmet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-13 08:38:54|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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