Closed burgonet



This is of the "cuirassier" type with barred visor, probably once fire-blued or blackened, now black-painted overall. Cut-outs at the facial opening sides of the skull and empty holes suggest that the skull was originally for a burgonet with hinged cheekpieces, but that it was made into a closed headpiece during its service life. The skull is of two halves overlapped along a low, full-length plain comb, and riveted together at front and rear. At the posterior base is a simple iron plume-pipe crudely decorated with filed lines, and pierced with 2 pairs of punched holes, probably for securing the plume. Encircling the base of the skull is a row of domed, iron lining-rivets, with a set of leather straps at the ends to buckle the helmet closed when worn. The strap is secured with rivets and brass washers, the latter bearing stamped decoration; these could all be early. Flush rivets border the slightly arched facial opening with a rough, untrimmed edge. Combined with the presence of vacant holes above suggests that if the helmet had been a burgonet, there would have been a riveted fall, perhaps with nasal, at this point. The barred visor and bevor assemblies are pivoted on a common set of large, domed iron rivets with octagonal washers within. The visor has six vertical apertures rounded at the tops and tapering to the bottom. There is a low brow, to which is riveted a flat, pointed fall. Traces of pairs of scratched, fine lines border the edges where the paint is lost. The bevor has a distinct chin with medial ridge, and on the right is a pivot-hook which engages a pierced lug on the visor. Both the skull and bevor are drawn down in narrow, curved flanges at the ends of which are rivoted gorget-plates, which also articulate on a central leather within. There are three plates at the rear and two at the front. The ends are squared, and except for the deeper, pointed terminal lame at the rear, each is of more-or-less equal depth over its length as it curves across the neck. The rear set has a distinct medial ridge. Both terminal lames have an inwardly turned plain edge over a wire core, bordered by a wide, shallow, recessed plain band. Both bands are filled by domed iron lining rivets retaining leather fragments beneath the rivets within. These are of three forms - flat and octagonal, flat and circular, and hollow-raised circular.

Curator's Comments

The helmet is possibly Austrian, in the "Netherlandish" fashion, with portions perhaps late 16th century or early 17th century, and reworked or "modernized" in about 1620. Compare to that of an armor for Archduke Leopold V, by Hans Jakob Topf, 1619 (W.S.V.A. 1534); see Thomas/Gamber, "Innsbrucker…"


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