Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Foot-Combat Helm of Sir Giles Capel (1485–1556)

Date:
ca. 1510
Culture:
possibly British
Medium:
Steel
Dimensions:
H. 17 1/2 in. (44.4 cm); W. 11 1/4 in. (28.6 cm); D. 9 1/2 in. (24.1 cm); Wt. 13 lb. 8 oz. (6123 g)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
04.3.274
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
This helm, or “great bascinet,” for the tournament fought on foot, formerly hung above the tomb of Sir Giles Capel (1485–1556) in Rayne Church, Essex, as specified in his will that this, his “beste helmett,” and his sword be placed there. Sir Giles was part of the retinue of Henry VIII that challenged all comers during the tournaments held at the Field of Cloth of Gold, the famous summit meeting between England and France at Calais in 1520. Sir Giles may have worn this helm on that occasion. It is arguably the finest of its kind to survive from that period.
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