Armet with Wrapper

Date: armet, ca. 1460–70; wrapper, ca. 1450; rondel, probably 18th–19th century

Culture: Italian

Medium: Steel, leather

Dimensions: Armet (a): H. 12 in. (30.5 cm); W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); D. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); Wt. 7 lb. 15.1 oz. (3603.2 g); wrapper (b); H. 7 1/8 in. (18.1 cm); W. 8 1/8 in. (20.6 cm); D. 7 1/2 in. (19.1 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 15.6 oz. (1803 g); armet with wrapper (a, b): H. 14 3/8 in. (36.5 cm); W. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); D. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); Wt. 11 lb. 14.7 oz. (5406.3 g)

Classification: Helmets

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1920

Accession Number: 20.150.1a, b

Description

The armet was the typical headpiece of the Italian mounted knight in the fifteenth century. Completely enveloping the head, it was constructed of a bowl with separate brow reinforce, close-fitting cheekpieces hinged at the sides and closing at the chin, and a pivoting visor. The armet usually was worn with a secondary face defense, or wrapper, which covered the lower face and neck and prevented the visor from being struck open. The wrapper strapped around the armet and buckled at the back; the rondel projecting from the base of the bowl protected the straps and the closing of the cheekpieces at the back.

The Museum's armet and wrapper are contemporary but associated. The bowl is struck on either side of the medial ridge at the back with a Brescian-style armorer's mark consisting of the letters IA (?) beneath the abbreviation sign. The wrapper bears the marks of the famous Missaglia family of Milan used before 1452: the letters MY beneath a crown and below, struck twice, an M beneath a split-legged cross. Both pieces were etched at a later date with arms said to be those of the Piombini family. (The visor is associated and the rondel is modern; the wrapper has been altered.)

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