Art/ Collection/ Art Object

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

ca. 1510
possibly British
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)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
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.
#4424. Foot Combat Helm of Sir Giles Capel
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Ex. coll.: Baron C. A. de Cosson; Baron Ressman; Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord; Duc de Dino, Paris.
London. The Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. "Exhibition of Helmets and Mail," June 3–June 16, 1880, no. 80.

London. New Gallery. "Exhibition of the Royal House of Tudor," 1890–April 6, 1890, no. 695.

London. H. M. Tower of London. "Exhibition of Armour Made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich," May 22–September 29, 1951, no. 35 called Great Bascinet, c. 1511.

London. Victoria and Albert Museum. "Gothic: Art for England 1400–1547," October 9, 2003–January 18, 2004, no. 79.

Burges, W., and Charles A. de Cosson. "Accompanied by Critical Notes by the Baron de Cosson, F.R.G.S., and W. Burges, A.R.A., The Plates Drawn by W.G.B. Lewis." In Ancient Helmets and Examples of Mail: A Catalogue of the Objects Exhibited in the Rooms of the Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland. London: The Royal Archaeological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 1881. pp. 73–74, no. 80, pl. VI, fig 78.

New Gallery. Exhibition of the Royal House of Tudor: The New Gallery, Regent Street. London: The Gallery, 1890. no. 695.

Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes De Maurice De Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc De Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 1901. pp. 27–28, no. B. 19, pl. 7.

Lee-Dillon, Harold Arthur, J. G. Mann, William Burges, and Charles A. de Cosson. "A Suit of Armor in the Tower of London." Archaeological Journal 69 (1912). pp. 64–79, ill.; pp. 74–87, ill.

Laking, Guy Francis, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms through Seven Centuries. Vol. 2. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920. pp. 155–156, fig. 492.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde. Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 86, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (Summer 2012). p. 8, fig. 6.

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