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 court of Louis XIII (r. 1610–43), this wonderfully preserved helmet was probably intended for use in a mock joust or carousel.
Antwerp; Yvon Leyssens, Belgium[Eric Vaule, Bridgewater, Conn., until 1997; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 1991–2002," September 4, 2002–January 18, 2004.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Morihiro Ogawa. Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions, 1991–2002. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002. p. 21, no. 15, ill. (color).
Artist: Part of the decoration design by Jean Cousin the Elder (French, Souci (?) ca. 1490–ca. 1560 Paris (?))Date: ca. 1555Medium: Steel, gold, silver, leather, textileAccession: 39.121a–nOn view in:Gallery 374