Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lobster-Tail Burgonet (Zischägge)

ca. 1630–40
Steel, gold, brass, leather, textile
H. including nasal 14 1/2 in. (36.8 cm); H. excluding nasal 11 in. (27.9 cm); W. 10 in. (25.4 cm); D. 16 in. (40.6 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 2 oz. (1880 g)
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
The term Zischägge refers to a distinctive type of seventeenth-century helmet consisting of a hemispherical bowl, a brim with sliding nosepiece (nasal), cheekpieces, and a long laminated tail over the back of the neck. The German word is a corruption of the Turkish chichak, which refers to a similar helmet used throughout much of the Ottoman world.

Unlike most Zischägge, which were relatively simple, this example has a finely fluted and ribbed bowl with a baluster finial at the top, and surfaces that are blued and gilt. It also has its original leather lining in the bowl, brim, tail, and cheekpieces.
Marking: Stamped on the nasal defense: M.
Ernest de Rozière, Blois and Cannes (d. 1901); William Henry Riggs, Paris (by 1913; his gift to MMA).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Helmets 1450–1650: Treasures from the Reserve Collection," January 25, 2000–May 13, 2002.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. European Helmets, 1450–1650: Treasures from the Reserve Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000. pp. 4, 43, 47, no. 70, ill.

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