Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Close Helmet of Claude Gouffier (1501–1570)

ca. 1555–60
Steel, gold, brass
H. 15 3/4 in. (40 cm); W. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); D. 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm); Wt. 6 lb. 5 oz. (2863 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
This is an excellent example of a French heavy cavalry helmet of the mid-sixteenth century. Its elaborate decoration includes the monogram of Claude Gouffier (1501–1570), Master of the Horse (Grand Écuyer) for Henry II and Charles IX. This monogram is also on a knee piece from the armor of Gouffier's in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 1994.390).
Inscription: Inscribed around the ocularium and gorget: SPES MEA DAT VIRES NON TIMEBO QUONIAM (because hope gives me strength I do not fear).
Ex. coll.: Le Sueur (Paris, 1840, Lot 1250); Sommesson (Paris, 1848, Lot 216); anonymous (Paris, April 14–15, 1864, Lot 111); Basilewsky (Paris, 1869. The helmet does not seem to be included in sale catalogue); William H. Riggs.
Thoumas, Charles Antoine. "Exposition Rétrospective Militaire du Ministère de la Guerre en 1889." In Les Anciennes Armées Françaises:. Vol. I. Paris, 1890. p. 37, ill.

Dean, Bashford. Handbook of Arms and Armor, European and Oriental, Including the William H. Riggs Collection. New York: Gilliss Press, January 1915. p. 71, pl. 33, middle right.

Dean, Bashford, and Robert T. Nichol. "European and Oriental, Metropolitan Museum of Art." In Handbook of Arms and Armor, edited by Stephen V. Grancsay. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1930. p. 133, fig. 86.

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