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Purchased at the sale of The Eugen Nielsen Collection of Antique Arms, Armour and Japanese Swords, Christies, London, 1 March 1993. The Norwegian Eugen Nielsen (1885-1963) bought most of his collection in Germany in the 1920s, and Oslo in the 1930s. About 1935 most of his collection was transferred from his office-bulding in Oslo to his private residence. The red paint on the inside of the helmet is characteristic of armour from the collection of Duke Viktor von Ratibor, Schloss Grafenegg, Austria

Physical Description

It has a rounded one-piece skull with a fairly high, roped, medial comb, and a narrow integral brim that is swept down at the sides and rises slightly to an obtuse point at the front and rear. The edge of the brim has a boldly file-roped inward turn. The base of the skull is encircled by ten round-headed, brass-capped, iron lining-rivets with external, brass, rosette washers, and internal, iron, octagonal washers. One internal washer on the left side (just to the front of centre) is missing. The two to the rear of it are replaced. Four of the internal washers retain fragments of the leather lining-band. At the nape are a pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of a missing plume-holder. At each side of the base of the skull are a pair of rivet-holes for the attachment of missing cheekpieces. Between each of these pairs of holes, an externally-flush, iron rivet secures a later, internal leather loop for securing alace under the chin. A later suspension-hole has been pierced at each side and at the front of the brim. The right side of the skull bears a small dent.
Bright with light patination. The inside of the helmet is painted red.


Dimensions: Height: 26.5 cm (10.4 in), Width: 20.3 cm (8.0 in), Depth: 33.8 cm (13.3 in) Weight: 1.74 Kg (3 lb 13oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

The skull is struck at the right of the nape with the initials 'HH' of the Innsbruck armourer Hans Horburger, recorded 1556-86. The brim is struck on the left side with the mark of the Vienna Arsenal, a cross of St George within a rounded rectangle. The brim is struck on the front, right with the letter 'D', possibly an ownership mark.



The burgonets IV. 417 and IV. 418 bear the mark of the same maker.
See Bruno Thomas and Ortwin Gamber, 'Die Innsbrucker Plattnerkunst', Tiroler Landesmuseum Ferdinandeum, Innsbruck, 1954, pp. 30, 80 & 105; and Bruno Thomas, 'Die Innsbrucker Plattnerkunst:ein Nachtrag', 'Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien', Vol. 70, 1974, pp. 208-9, for detailed discussions of this maker and surviving examples of his work.