Object Title




about 1440-50

Object Number



Purchased from the collection of Sir Edward Barry, Ockwells Manor, Bray, Berkshire, at Sotheby's 1965, lot 199, ill. Possibly from Rhodes. Acquired with the assistance of the National Art Collections Fund. The Rhodes provenance is based on the otherwise unsupported evidence of the sale catalogue.

Physical Description

The rounded skull of one piece is embossed with a full-length medial ridge pierced at centre with a keyhole slot for a crest-holder. The integral tail is short, pointed and flat; the main edge has a boxed, inward turn. The brow is deep, with a plain edge. Around the base of the skull is a row of fourteen holes for lining rivets, and ten flush rivets remain at the sides and over the brow. Below this line, at either side, is a horizontal pair of rivet holes for the attachment of the chin straps. At the rear is a group of three rivet holes, one above, on the ridge, and two below at either side. These may be for the lower attachment of the lining, or a leather loop for fastening an extension of the chin strap.

The visor has a shallow brow drawn up in a cusp at the centre and embossed to accommodate the medial ridge. It has a single, slightly stepped sight with no flange above, but a boxed flange below, and a very shallow lower section of concave profile. The lower edge is drawn up in a shallow arc at the front, and has a boxed, inward turn. The visor extends to the centre at either side, where its side edges are slightly concave. The terminals are short and rounded, with modern pivots.

There is a small, corroded hole at the left, almost broken through from the edge.

Featured in

Hundred Years War



HelmetDepth210 mm
HelmetDepth310 mm
HelmetHeight210 mm
HelmetWeight1820 g
HelmetWidth170 mm
HelmetWidth180 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Maker's Mark
IIR (or NR?) surmounted by a crown with three fleurons. Previously attributed by A V B Norman to Jacomino Ravizza (fl. 1428-33).
Rear of the skull


Bibliographic References

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 1.12


Laking described the helmet as 'French, about 1450,' and stated it was found in France. Closely comparable helmets include a sallet in the Metropolitan Museum, no. 04.3.277 (Micklenburg 1985: no. 150 and the sallets G.Po. 661, 648 and 714 in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris which are somewhat later, about 1470, with deeper medial embossing (Buttin 1928: 95, pl. xv for 661, part of armour no. 1199; Estruch 1896: mark 40).

Other interpretations of the mark include 'NA' (Boccia 1982: 283, mark 20). Other marks have been attributed to Ravizza, including AR below a split cross and a crowned R (Nickel 1974: 284).

Metallurgy: Examined on the front edge, the helmet microstructure contains ferrite and a granular material which seems to be divorced pearlite. The steel is low-carbon (about 0.3% C), which has been air-cooled after fabrication and subsequently re-heated, causing the pearlite to be divorced.