Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tournament Helm (Kolbenturnierhelm)

Steel, textile, leather, gesso, polychromy
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)
Credit Line:
Gift of Christian A. Zabriskie, 1940
Accession Number:
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.
British Archaeological Association. Journal of the British Archaeological Association (1848). Vol. 3 (1848), pp. 59-60.

Demmin, August. Guide des amateurs d'armes et armures anciennes par ordre chronologique depuis les temps les plus reculés jusqu'a nos jours. Paris: Renouard, 1879. p. 275, fig. 50.

Grancsay, Stephen V., and Stuart W. Pyhrr. Arms & Armor: Essays by Stephen V. Grancsay from the Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 1920–1964. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1986. Vol. XXXVII (37), pp. 60-64.

"from The Metropolitan Museum Journal." An Illustrated Manuscript Inventory of an Armory for Sale by Lottery 41 (2006). pp.117-18, fig. 9 (photo), fig. 10 (ill. of design on back).

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