Close-Helmet, Steel, polychromy, British or Flemish


ca. 1560
British or Flemish
Steel, polychromy
H. 17 1/4 in. (43.8 cm); W. 9 7/8 in. (25.1 cm); D. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 15 oz. (2239 g)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Bequest, 2013
Accession Number:
Not on view
The prow-like lower visor of this helmet is the most recognizable characteristic of a distinctive style that was made about the middle of the sixteenth century in either England or Flanders. This particular helmet is interesting because it was later adapted and reused as a funerary achievement, meaning that it was hung in a church above the tomb of a gentleman. Indicators of this are the painted decoration and the relatively crude spike, designed to hold a crest, piercing the comb at the top. Funerary helmets are rare, particularly outside the context of English churches.
[Toogood & May Auctioneers Ltd., Shipton Bellinger, Hampshire, United Kingdom, sale, April 27, 2011, no. 579, for £6,600, to Lumley]; [Andrew Lumley, Thirsk, North Yorkshire, United Kingdom, 2011–2013; sold to MMA].
Bonhams. Antique Arms & Armour: Including the Norman H. Dixon Collection. London: Bonhams, April 18, 2012. no. 120, ill.