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Presented by the National Art Collections Fund, 1945. From the Karl Gimbel collection, Baden-Baden, sold Rudolf Lepke, Berlin, 30 May-3 June 1904, lot 38, taf. VII, , and purchased by Sir Edward Barry from Whawell, about 1926

Physical Description

The skull is egg-shaped, the lower edge bordered by a row of 13 tubular steel vervelles for the aventail. Above these were 5 triangular plates designed to protect the leather band of the aventail, of which only the two at the left survive. The lower edge is pierced with close set holes for the lining rivets. There are 5 holes arranged vertically for the attachment of the visor, the one in the middle with a waisted stud. The visor is of 'pig-faced' form, with strongly boxed sights and ventilation slot below the snout. The snout is pierced with numerous breaths on both sides. The visor is fitted at the top centre with a long narrow plate pierced with an ogival opening to fit over the attachment on the brow of the helmet.



HelmetDepth270 mm
HelmetHeight254 mm
HelmetWeight1420 g
HelmetWidth210 mm
VisorWeight455 g

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Italy

Bibliographic References

G F Laking, 'Mr Edward Barry's collection of arms and armour at Ockwells Manor, Bray', Connoisseur, XI.42, 1905: 67-75, at p. 68

G F Laking, A Record of European armour and arms. G Bell, London, 1920-2, vol. I, fig. 278

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

A V B Norman and G M Wilson, Treasures from the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982: no. 8

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


Bascinets with ogival skulls, as on IV.467, were popular throughout the period c.1350-1400. It is sometimes thought that this is a particularly German style, however, more work needs to be undertaken to establish this. 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'. A bascinet visor, No. 1628 in the Carrand Collection, Museo Nazionale, Florence, is very similar to the visor of IV.467. The only major difference lies in the presence in IV.467 of a hole at the extreme tip of the 'snout'.
A flake of metal taken from the lower rim of the skull and on the rim of the visor revealed a microstructure of ferrite with small amounts of pearlite and a good deal of slag. This helmet has been made of low carbon bloomery steel notable only for its metallurgical crudity.


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