Object Title

Close helmet

Close helmet

Date

1630

Object Number

IV.53

Provenance

Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

The skull is made in two pieces joined in a low comb and by rivets at the front and rear, bordered by double incised lines. The front edge is bordered by 18 original flush lining rivets, and round the base of the skull is a row of gilt iron round-headed decorative rivets bordered by double incised lines. Attached by a round headed rivet with a square washer at the left and a flush rivet at the right (probably a working life replacement) is a single gorget plate embossed to simulate two lames, with a cusp at the centre of the simulated lame. The main edge has a plain inward turn borderd by gilt round headed iron rivets, alternately decorative and lining, the latter with square washers and retaining fragments of the canvas lining band. At the centre is a decorative rosette of 19 gilt iron rivets. At the rear of the skull is a gilt iron plume holder, with scalloped extensions at either side, by which it is secured to the skull by four rivets, and it is pierced with four holes, one at either side at the top, and two in the centre. The skull is fastened to the lower bevor by a modern swivel hook and orginal gilt iron pierced stud of rectangular section. The lower bevor is shaped to the chin, and has a deep gorget plate at the bottom matching that at the rear. Its main edge has a plain inward turn bordered by 10 flush lining rivets, and under the chin is a row of round headed gilt iron rivets, all decorative except for one at either end which has a square washer and retains a fragment of lining band. At the right front is a modern swivel hook securing the upper bevor in position, and towards the right rear is a rivet hole for the missing visor prop. The upper bevor is narrow and prow-shaped. Its main edges have plain inward turns, the uppr edge bordered by decorative rivets and both by double incised lines, At either side is a rosette formed of 5 holes and 12 rivets. The visor has a wide step which fits into the prow of the upper bevor. Above this are two sights divided by a medial ridge, and above these rows of decorative round headed gilt rivets and a recessed panel in the shape of an eyebrow, bordered by double incised lines which continue to border the restof the panel at either side. The upper edge is cusped. The exterior retains its original russet finish, and there is some overall surface cdorrosion.

Dimensions

Dimensions: height 425 mm, width 285 mm, depth 320 mm Weight: 2850 g

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped on the front gorget plate N.

Associations

Places England

Bibliographic References

C ffoulkes, Inventory and survey of the armouries of the Tower of London, London, HMSO, 1916, vol. 1 s.n.

Notes

ffoulkes suggested this was a funerary helmet, being of light weight (which it is not). Others (Blair or Robinson in the card index and IBE) suggested it was German. It bears the mark of Peter Newton, the London armourer, and is of similar form to IV.1078 and IV.1675 which bear the same mark.