Front Half of a Tournament Helm


Not on view

Constructed of two sturdy plates of steel capable of withstanding the blow of an opponent's blunted lance, this front half of a helm for the joust was originally secured by pivots to the rear half (now missing) of lighter metal. The helm was bolted to the jouster's cuirass, thus rendering the head and torso rigid. The large ventilation opening on the right side is protected by a thick flange. Similar helms are recorded in English churches; this one is reputed to have come from Battle Abbey, Sussex. Traces of an armorer's mark, apparently an M surmounted by a crescent, which is thought to be that of Guillem Margot (active in Brussels, recorded 1505–20), are evident on the left side (only the tips of the crescent are discernible). The same mark appears on other armor parts in the Metropolitan Museum's collection, acc. nos. 14.25.572, 29.158.1h, 29.158.38, and 29.158.52.

Front Half of a Tournament Helm, Steel, leather, Anglo-Flemish

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Front plate of a tournament helmet