Tournament Helm


Not on view

Helms bolted to the breast- and backplate and having large visors with multiple apertures for maximum sight and ventilation were typically used both in the tourney and in foot combat. The former was a mock combat fought by groups of mounted contestants armed with lances and rebated swords or clubs; in the latter, two armored contestants fought on foot within a wooden enclosure, the favored weapons usually being polaxes or swords, their strokes carefully monitored by referees. This helm bears faint traces of a mark, an M surmounted by a crescent, which is thought to be that of Guillem Margot (active in Brussels, recorded 1505–20). The same mark appears on three other elements of armor in the Metropolitan Museum: an armet (acc. no. 29.158.52); and elbow defense, or couter (acc. no. 29.158.1h, where it is struck twice); and the front half of a tournament helm (acc. no. 14.25.572).

Tournament Helm, Steel, copper alloy, Anglo-Flemish

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