Object Title

Pikeman's pot

Pikeman's pot



Object Number



Tower arsenal, sent on loan 184 to South Africa in 1920, returned to the Armouries on 15 July 1991.

Physical Description

Two rivet type. The helmet is made in two parts, joined in a low comb, widening at the crown and turned to the right. The comb has a large suspension hole pierced through it forward of the apex. The brim is joined by two externally flush rivets and by a lining rivet at the rear and by an externally flattened rivet (possibly a replacement during its lifetime) and a lining rivet at the front. It is broad and curves down at either side. There is a crude wiring hole at the rear of the brim each side of the seam below the plume holder, and two more at the front of the brim within the recessed border, that on the left being filled by a domed rivet.
The main edge has an inward turn accompanied by a recessed border containing twenty domed lining rivets all with square internal washers except one on the right which is triangular. Also on this side one is bent in half, exposing remains of the canvas lining band which are also just visible beneath the other washers.
The base of the skull is bordered by single incised line decoration, as is the skull either side of the comb. The base of the skull has two externally flattened rivets each side with octagonal internal washers on the left and square internal washers on the right, retaining fragments of the leather straps which secured the missing cheekpieces. At the rear a plume holder is attached by two domed rivets.
It is externally bright but slightly patinated. At the front and rear of the brim the edge has broken out, exposing the wire. On either side of the brim towards the rear the edges have been dented, partially breaking out as a result and exposing the wire on the right. The left edge of the rear brim seam, which passes below the right edge, is no longer held by the rivet below the plume holder.


Dimensions: Height: 21.6cm (8.5in), Width: 26.9cm (10.6in), Depth: 40cm (15.75in), Weight: 1.26kg (2lb 12.25oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

The left side of the recessed border is deeply stamped with a crowned IR which has broken through. At the rear it is stamped IW. On the inside of the front right of the brim is painted in yellow paint: L65/873. On the inside of the rear left is painted in yellow paint 3781 (crossed through).


Places England


'IW' = John Wright, who presented his mark in 1627 (Court Minute Book).
London Museum 46-78/709 f92v. contract for: 'foure hundred brests backs and potts at xxs p suite' and 'foure hundred headpieces at viis p headpiece', on June 26th 1645, with 3 others.
Guildhall Ms. 12071/3 f102. Court of (?)Dec 1637. Presentation mark 'IW' 'formalie allowed'.
f146. Court of 4th July 1643. Complaint of workmen armourers against 'Jn Wright...for having strangers at work'.