Object Title

Barbuta (Venetian sallet)

Barbuta (Venetian sallet)



Object Number



Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery at Woolwich, England, in 1927. From Rhodes, via Lefroy, in 1867.

Physical Description

Formed of one piece, with a deep, rounded skull which has a low medial ridge extending from the brow to the top of the neck. The sides and rear are extended downwards to a level just below the chin, the rear being drawn out into a short, flared tail. The front of the helmet is cut in a rounded, T-shaped opening, slightly flaring at the base, with plain edges and no rivet holes for an applied edge. The lower edge is outwardly turned, very crudely, as if a contemporary modification to repair a damaged edge. Around the base of the skull, sloping down from the brow, is a line of seventeen rivet holes for the attachment of a lining. Just below this is a pair of rivets with flat, circular heads, for the attachment of a chin strap. Above the brow is a pair of rivet holes, one with a rivet, either intended as a repair, or for further securing the lining. At the right side, level with these, is a smaller pierced hole of indeterminate function; since the same area at the left has an internal repair, it is impossible to determine whether there was another at that point. There are large cracks in the edge at the centre front and right side, smaller ones at the left, and a contemporary internal riveted repair at the left side of the skull.

Featured in

Hundred Years War



HelmetDepth264 mm
HelmetHeight255 mm
HelmetWeight1870 g
HelmetWidth200 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Maker's mark
. At the right rear of the skull is stamped a maker's mark, a patriarchal cross with split feet joined by a downward-pointed chevron.
Right rear of skull
Arsenal mark
Rotunda number, MA 2275
Left rear of skull


Bibliographic References

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, London, 1874: 139, no. 2275

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889: 149, no. 16.206

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 1.8

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


The helmet is a munition-quality piece, of a form frequently seen in Florentine cassone painting of the period. An example with a wider vertical opening was found at Chalkis, and is in the National Historical Museum in Athens, no. B14 (Boccia 1981). Similar marks appear on the left gauntlet iii.1214 in the Royal Armouries; on an Italian export breastplate in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris, no. Gpo 2631 (Reverseau 1982: fig. 30); on the upper extension-plate of the cuisses of Sanctuary armour B3, with OA surmounted by a crown (Boccia 1982: 254, 286, figs 295-325); as OA under a split cross on the skull of a sallet in the Museo Stibbert (Boccia 1975: no 36, pl. 39); and the celata, formerly Morgan Williams collection, subsequently in that of Sir Archibald Lyle (Christies 1921: lot 215). Lionello Boccia has recently remarked that such crosses were popular marks with Brescian armourers (1992: 45). What may be this mark, but imperfectly rendered, appears in ffoulkes' article on the Rotunda transfer (1927: 68, fig. 5). The mark closely resembles that shown to Sir James Mann by Luigi Marzoli on a house in Brescia.