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Tournament Helm (Kolbenturnierhelm)

Date:
1450–1500
Culture:
German
Medium:
Steel, textile, leather, gesso, polychromy
Dimensions:
H. 19 5/8 in. (49.8 cm); W. 10 1/2 in. (26.7 cm); D. 14 1/8 in. (35.9 cm); Wt. 12 lb. 10 oz. (5727 g)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie, 1940
Accession Number:
40.135.3
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This extremely rare helmet was intended for the tournament fought by groups of mounted combatants armed with clubs (Kolben) or blunted swords. The helmet is formed from an iron framework covered by canvas and gesso impressed with a floral design based on textile patterns. Due to the fragile nature of the raised gesso decoration, very few of these helmets survive. At the rear is the coat of arms of the von Stein family, which here appears as three black wolf traps on a white shield.
Marking: At the rear of the helmet bowl, the arms of the von Stein family of Swabia: three black wolf traps on a white shield.
Ex coll.: Baron von Mayenfisch, 1854; Hohenzollern Collection, Sigmaringen; Clarence H. Mackay.
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