War Hat

Date: ca. 1475

Geography: probably Burgundy or Flanders

Culture: Western European, probably Burgundy or Flanders

Medium: Steel

Dimensions: H. 10 3/16 in. (25.9 cm); W. 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm); D. 14 5/8 in. (37.1 cm); Wt. 6 lb. 7 oz. (2920 g)

Classification: Helmets

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1904

Accession Number: 04.3.228


This war hat, also called a chapel-de-fer, originally may have had rich trimmings and fittings of gilt silver. These have been lost, leaving only the exposed steel of this distinctive helmet in its pure and vigorously molded form. Adeptly designed and executed, the hat's spiral-patterned bowl and deeply swept brim were shaped out of a single plate of steel. Its elegance suggests a provenance from the most sophisticated court of western Europe, that of the dukes of Burgundy. Helmets like this one were used for ceremonial occasions, such as parades and triumphal entries, and for battle, exemplifying the highly accomplished metalwork practiced for the benefit of Burgundian court life.