Object Title

Barbuta

Barbuta

Date

1460

Object Number

IV.17

Provenance

Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

The skull is made in one piece, with a low comb,a T-shaped face opening and short 'tail' at the rear of the skull. The edge of the face opening is reinforced with steel strip. The skull is encircled with a series of lining rivets.

Materials

Dimensions

HelmetDepth285 mm
HelmetHeight265 mm
HelmetWeight2211 g
HelmetWidth210 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Maker's mark
Stamped with a bull's head and split cross over IDB twice.
Rear of skull

Associations

Bibliographic References

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

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

Notes

The barbuta, sometimes also termed a sallet, was in use from the second half of the 14th century to the late 15th century. 15th century barbutas typically have a rounded skull with an outward curve over the nape of the neck, a raised comb and a 'T' shaped face opening. Another style of face opening featuring a pair of spectacle shaped cut-outs for the eyes and narrow nasal is often termed 'Corinthian' due to its similarity with ancient Greek helmets of that name.

The metallurgy was investigated by Alan Williams: it contains ferrite in small grains, a little pearlite and a few large, elongated slag inclusions. It is a mild steel (less then 0.1% C) allowed to air cool after forging, from a temperature just above the critcal range (900 C). Microhardness 117 Kg/mm-2.