Object Title

Visor

Visor

Date

1450

Object Number

IV.752

Provenance

Purchased from the trustees of Sir J Mann, 1981. From Chalcis, 1840, Bashford Dean colllection, Cripps-Day collection, given to Mann 1923. Formerly AL.23 106, and transferred from III.1707. Displayed together with full-size mount, in the form of model of an appropriate helmet. The armour recovered in 1840 from the Venetian fortress of Chalkis in 1840 on Euboia is discussed in C ffoulkes 'On Italian armour from Chalcis in the Ethnological Museum at Athens', Archaeologia LXII, 1911: 381-90 where a group of these great basinets are illustrated. Athens Archaeological Museum no B16 has a visor of this type. Another visor attached to a skull is illustrated in C Blair 'Notes on armour from Chalcis' Arms and armour at the Dorchester, London, 1982, pl. 4. Drawings of Athens B.17, 18 and 19 with missing elements added are illustrated in L G Boccia 'The Xalkis fund in Athens and New York', 9th IAMAM Congress in Washington and New York, 1981, (not included in the proceedings of the conference). Much of the material was acquired by Dean, and is now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. A visor of alternative snouted type (no. 29.158.46) is illustrated in C O Von Kienbusch and S V Grancsay, The Bashford Dean collection of arms and armour, Princeton, 1933, no. 29, pl. III, while other material there is unpublished. Other pieces were dispersed by Dean, including this visor and the vambrace III.1709. A helmet with a visor of the same type is in the Marzoli collection Brescia, published in Brescia, Museo Civice L Marzoli, Armi Antiche, Milan, 1969 no. 63. Mann wrongly thought this visor was from Rhodes, whence Dean acquired armour from Bachereau. It is mentioned in Mann's addenda to C ffoulkes, 'Armour from the Rotunda, Woolwich transferred to the Armouries at the Tower,' Archaeologia LXXVIII, 1928: 61-72. Blair suggested that these helmets, though of Venetian style, were produced in the republic of Ragusa (Dubrovnik), though the Marzoli piece has an Italianate mark, though others are unmarked. A comparable helmet type, now lacking its visor, is illustrated in H M Curtis, 2,500 years of European helmets, Hollywood, 1978: pl. 87, excavated off the south east coast of Cyprus.

Physical Description

The visor comprises a convex, round-bottomed central portion and an upper portion pierced with two sights separated by a channel, which is slightly concave across the brow. The line of the upper edge is continued in a narrow arm at either side. The arms both have internal riveted repairs, the one on the right continuing to the end and pierced for the pivot. The tips of the left arm and the repair are missing. The surface is heavily corroded and pitted, with a brown patina. The internal layer of the main plate is separating and cracking. The left sight is damaged at the top and bottom towards the outside. There is a long crack at the centre of the lower edge.

Dimensions

Dimensions: height 118 mm, width 176 mm Weight: 225 g

Component parts

Inscriptions and Marks

None

Associations

Bibliographic References

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

Notes

Visor IV.752 has double-number with a secret IV.752. I believe that the visor has the correct number as it bears it in the blue hard copy inventory book. (The secrets start on the following pages of the blue inventory). The secret has an aluminium tag with' IV. 752'. and no painted number. An audit of all the secrets is needed to see where we might have a missing number.