Object Title





Object Number



Purchased 1834. From the collection of Sir Charles Brocas

Physical Description

The skull is conical with an arched face opening. The lower edge is bordered by a row of close-set holes for the lining rivets, above which is a more widely spaced row of rivet holes for the missing vervelles. The apex of the skull has been repaired by brazing. The visor is of 'pig-faced' form with an acute point. It is attached to the skull by a steel hinge and strap, locked in place by a pivoted lever. The sights and breathing slot below the snout are boxed; the visor is pierced with 12 breaths on its right side only. The attachments for the visor are restorations.

Featured in

Hundred Years War



HelmetDepth310 mm
HelmetHeight280 mm
HelmetWeight1702 g
HelmetWidth180 mm
VisorWeight935 g

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Germany

Bibliographic References

G F Laking, A Record of European armour and arms. G Bell, London, 1920-2 vol. I: 239-41, fig. 280

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

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1


In Germany, bascinets with ogival skulls, as on IV.467, were popular throughout the period c.1350-1400. The downward series of wedge-shaped lugs set at intervals behind the line of tubular vervelles may have been desiged to deflect downward blows away from the fastening of the aventail. Alternatively they may have acted to support the great helm, which could be worn over the bascinet. Around c.1360-70 a new method of attaching the visor was developed in Germany. Rather than hinged at the sides, it was instead hinged by the centre of its upper edge to a vertical bar which was pierced to fit over two studs on the brow of the bascinet skull. This type of visor is frequently referred to by its modern name 'Klappvisier'The visor was formerly fitted with modern extensions at either side, and pivoted there to the skull. These were removed during 1957-9 when the central pivot and hasps were restored. A very similar visor attachment can be found on a bascinet in the Veste Coburg Collection IA.1

The skull was examined on he lower edge. It is formed from a heterogeneous low carbon steel. The microstructure contains ferrite with varying amounts of large and small pearlite areas whose arrangement is approximately in rows parallel to the surface of the plate. There is some elongation of the slag inclusions which are aligned with some of the pearlite areas. This, taken with the fact that the pearlite is partly aspheroidised suggests that it was fabricated at a temperature slightly too low for complete solution of the pearlite. The carbon content is variable, but probably in the range 0.2-0.3%; no attempt has been made to harden the steel.
The visor was examined on the edge. It is made of wrought iron. The microstructure contains mostly ferrite with a little pearlite, arranged in distinct layers. This is of lower carbon content than the skull, and was hammered out at a temperature within the critical range