Object Title

Pair of steel wings

Pair of steel wings



Object Number



Oxenham's , 21 July 1842, Lot 96 with IV.443.

Physical Description

Pair of near identical decorative wings made of thin metal. One end of each wing is deeply embossed in a whorled design based on a whelk shell and the rest of the plate is fashioned into the form of a dragon's or bat's wing with radiating curved ribs. The surface between the ribs has been etched with a comb-like pattern on a finely granulated ground. On each wing slightly above the shell-like embossings there is a key-hold slot for a turning-pin. One of the wings near the shell-like embossing has been damaged with some material loss, whilst the other has had a small iron reinforcing plate riveted to the underside of the damaged area.



WingHeight37 mm
WingHeight43 mm
WingLength209 mm
WingLength216 mm
WingWeight100 g
WingWeight80 g
WingWidth116 mm
WingWidth122 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Germany

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXXXIV


Designed to be worn as part of a garniture, the wings are designed to be detachable allowing the wearer to customise his helmet depending on the circumstances. A similar pair (one a later replacement) of detachable wings, with the edges cut as acanthus leaves, belong to a burgonet by Kolman Helmschmeid in the Wallace Collection. On this helmet all of the elements are decorated with Goldeschmelz and designed to be detachable. Such wings are also shown in the early 16th centuryThun Sketchbook.