Object Title

Sallet visor

Sallet visor



Object Number



Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery, Woolwich, 1927. From Rhodes, acquired by Sir J. Lefroy 1867.

Physical Description

Of bellows form, for a 'closed' sallet.

The visor is of one piece, extending deeply over the face. It is embossed with five deeply concave transverse flutes, the uppermost of which is drawn outwards to form an arched flange below the eyes. The space between this and the brow of the skull would have formed the sight. The flange is notched at its ends and curves back sharply into pointed terminals pierced for visor pivots. The side edges are curved forward to the lower edge which dips down slightly to the chin. There is a low medial keel extending across the flutes, which are pierced with staggered rows of thirty-five ventilation holes. A hole at the lower right may have engaged a spring-catch. All the edges are plain.


Dimensions: Height 150 mm , width 190 mm, depth 186 mm Weight: 565 g

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped on the left terminal is the Rotunda number, MA 2291.


Bibliographic References

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889: 149, no. 16.222

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1874: 139, MA 2291.

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 1.27


Comparable visors include IV.438 and IV.439, both from Rhodes: Wallace Collection A72 (J Mann, Wallace Collection Catalogues, European Arms and Armour, Vol.1, Armour, London, 1962, pl.55); valetta No.439 (G F Laking, A Catalogue of the Arms and Armour in the Armoury of the Knights of St. John of Jerusaleum, London, n.d. (1904) pl.XXX, No.43-4); Musée de l'Armée G8, G9, H45; Florence, Museo Stibbert No.3599, with a triple mark of crowned IO and OA below a split cross, possibly Brescian; Metropolitan Museum 50.160a (H M Curtis, 5,000 Years of European Helmets, Hollywood, 1978, pp.146-7); and a probably Flemish sallet at Madrid, D14 (Valencia de Don Juan, Catalogo de la Real Armeria de Madrid, 1898, p.143, also in the Inventario Illuminado of Chales V) which is less closely related. A painting, school of Giogione, of a knight and squire, c.1515, depicts a visor of this type (Uffizi, Florence, published in L G Boccia, F Rossi, M Morin, Armi e Armature Lombarde, Milan, 1979, tav.101)

Closest is the unusual 'closed' sallet with hinged cheekpieces in the Bargello, Florence BA c.1635 which has a similarly positioned spring-catch-hole (L G Boccia, E T Coelho, L'Arte dell' Armatura in Italia, Milan, 1967, tav.159-62).