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Purchased from the National Magazine Co. (William Randolph Hearst Collection) October 1952, with the help of the Pilgrim Trust, the National Art Collections Fund and a special Exchequer Grant. one of 52 items purchased together. From the armoury of Count Trapp, Schloss Churburg

Physical Description

The skull has a medial ridge and a narrow rear section extending to the nape. Attached by modern rivets is a cusped brow reinforce. At the apex is a keyhole slot for a plume holder. Attached by modern rivets at either side are the large, rectangular cheekpieces, which fasten by a stud on the right and hole on the left at the front. The upper fronts are cut away to form a sight, and there is a slot-like deeper cut out at the very centre. The main edges all have outward turns, bordered on the cheekpieces by reinforces, attached by round headed rivets and with dentated upper edges and flanged lower edges pierced with close-set holes, for the attachment of the mail aventail. At the rear are two vervelles, one brass and a cruder, later one in copper. Above these is a slotted and moulded stud for the attachemnt of a rondel. Inside the lower main edges are original red leather lining bands, attached by flush rivets. The sparrow's beak visor is attached by pivots at either temple. The ends are detachable, formed with hinge halves and joined by pins. The beak section has a transverse ridge, and above this the edge of the stepped sight has a boxed outward turn.

Featured in

Hundred Years War


Dimensions: height 255 mm, width 185 mm, depth 280 mm Weight: 3525 g

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped at either side of the rear of the skull crown over I.

Bibliographic References

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

M Scalini, The Armoury of the Castle of Churburg, Udine, Magnus, 1996: 69, pl. II.11

L Syson and D Gordon, Pisanello: painter to the renaissance court, London, National Gallery Company, 2001, p. 258, no. 23 (but pl.2.23, p. 68)

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


One of a relatively large group of mid-15th century armets, the closest comparable pieces to this helmet are Mantua B1 (Boccia 1982: tav 226) and Churburg no. 20, which is slightly earlier (Boccia 1982: tav. 45, Trapp & Mann 1929: pl. xxvi). It is possible that this is the armet for the Avant armour. The mark appears on its own also on the backplate from Rhodes RA III.1093. In combination it appears with various marks, on the cuirass of the Avant armour, Churburg no. 20, Glasgow '39-65e, with ZA, on a pauldron from the Pauilhac collection and on the vambraces of Mantua B3 with spurred S, and on the Eardisly sallet with a spurred mark. See Boccia 1982: mark 59.