Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Great Sallet

late 14th–mid-15th century
H. 11 3/4 in. (29.9 cm); W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); D. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 13 oz. (2184 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942
Accession Number:
Not on view
This helmet is part of a unique group of late medieval helmets and armor fragments that was discovered about 1840 in the ruins of a Venetian fortress at Chalcis, on the Greek island of Euboea. Founding curator of the Arms and Armor Department at the Metropolitan Museum Bashford Dean saw the Chalcis group in Athens in the 1890s and, recognizing its rarity and importance, eventually was able to acquire a substantial portion of it (a selection is on permanent display in the Museum, gallery 373). After Dean's death, this helmet was owned by Clarence H. Mackay, a major art collection, trustee of the Museum, and great admirer of Dean. It later belonged to Dean's successor, Stephen Grancsay, who subsequently donated it to the Museum.
Ex. colls.: Historical Museum, Athens; Bashford Dean, New York; Clarence Mackay, Roslyn, Long Island
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Helmets 1450–1650: Treasures from the Reserve Collection," January 25, 2000–May 13, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department," October 2, 2012–October 13, 2014.

Ffoulkes, Charles J. "Italian Armour from Chalcis in the Ethnological Museum at Athens." Archaeologia, or, Miscellaneous Tracts Relating to Antiquity 62, no. 2 (1911). pp. 381-390.

Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, August 3 to September 27, 1931. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 18, no. 49.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "European Armor from the Imperial Ottoman Arsenal." Metropolitan Museum Journal 24 (1989). p. 113, n. 19.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. European Helmets, 1450–1650: Treasures from the Reserve Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. p. 6, no.1, ill.

Related Objects

Sallet in the Shape of a Lion's Head

Date: ca. 1475–80 Medium: Steel, copper, gold, glass, pigment, textile Accession: 23.141 On view in:Gallery 373


Artist: Stamped with the armorer's name, LIONARDO (Italian, probably active in Milan, ca. 1440) Date: ca. 1440 Medium: Steel, copper alloy Accession: 42.50.2 On view in:Gallery 373

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

Date: ca. 1510 Medium: Steel Accession: 04.3.274 On view in:Gallery 371

Field Armor of King Henry VIII of England (reigned 1509–47)

Date: ca. 1544 Medium: Steel, gold, textile, leather Accession: 32.130.7a–l On view in:Gallery 371


Date: ca. 1540 Medium: Steel, silver, wood Accession: 2010.200 On view in:Gallery 376