French (possibly Paris)
Steel, brass, paint, and textile; H. 14 7/8 in. (37.6 cm)
Purchase, Gift of William H. Riggs, by exchange, 1997 (1997.341)
A reflection of the classical tradition in early Baroque France, this parade helmet was designed in imitation of ancient Roman examples. The tall arched comb was originally fitted with an elaborate feathered plume, and the colorful effect was heightened by the use of gold paint and gilt rivet heads. The padded lining, still intact, was once covered with pink silk. Undoubtedly created for a member of the French court of Louis XIII (r. 161043), this wonderfully preserved helmet was probably intended for use in a mock joust or carousel.