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Close Helmet of Claude Gouffier (1501–1570)

Date:
ca. 1555–60
Culture:
French
Medium:
Steel, gold, brass
Dimensions:
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)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.596
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.
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