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Armet

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (made)

  • Date:

    1520-1540 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Steel, forged

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Mr G. H. Ramsbottom, through Art Fund

  • Museum number:

    M.2705-1931

  • Gallery location:

    Medieval & Renaissance, Room 62, The Foyle Foundation Gallery, case 19

This style of helmet that closely follows the line of the neck is known as an armet and gradually replaced the long-tailed helmets popular in northern Europe at the end of the 15th century. Its hinged visor allows only limited visibility as the helmet was designed for jousting in which one only need to move forwards in a straight line.

Jousting was a dangerous sport that formed an essential part of a Renaissance nobleman's training. Separated by a barrier, opposing knights charged each other on horseback and through limited vision amid the sound of thundering hooves, aimed to break each other’s lance. The helmet’s narrow eye-slits reduced the risk of facial injury.

The helmet is decorated with ridges that imitate contemporary headwear and the pleating of cloth as well as add strength. It would have been worn as part of a matching armour. Jousting armour was extremely heavy to protect specific target areas. The vertical ‘fluting’ decoration was popular during the reign of the Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519).

Physical description

Four sided armet with fluted skull and roped comb, hinged cheekpieces and 'monkey-faced' visor.

Place of Origin

Germany (made)

Date

1520-1540 (made)

Artist/maker

Unknown

Materials and Techniques

Steel, forged

Dimensions

Height: 33 cm approx, Width: 24.5 cm, Depth: 34 cm, Weight: 3.04 kg

Object history note

This style of helmet that closely follows the line of the neck is known as an armet and gradually replaced the long-tailed helmets popular in northern Europe at the end of the 15th century. Its hinged visor allows only limited visibility as the helmet was designed for jousting when one only needed to move forwards in a straight line.

The museum acquired the helmet in 1931 when it was bequeathed by Mr G. H. Ramsbottom through The Art Fund

Historical context note

Jousting was a dangerous sport that formed an essential part of a Renaissance nobleman's training. Separated by a barrier, opposing knights charged each other on horseback and through limited vision amid the sound of thundering hooves, aimed to break each other’s lance. The helmet’s narrow eye-slits reduced the risk of facial injury.

The helmet is decorated with ridges that imitate contemporary headwear and the pleating of cloth as well as add strength. It would have been worn as part of a matching armour. Jousting armour was extremely heavy to protect specific target areas. The vertical ‘fluting’ decoration was popular during the reign of the Emperor Maximilian I (1459-1519).

Descriptive line

Four sided armet with fluted skull and roped comb, hinged cheekpieces and 'monkey-faced' visor in the 'Maximilian' style, Germany, 1530-40

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Capwell, Tobias The Real Fighting Stuff (Glasgow Museums, 2007)
Christian Beaufort and Matthias Pfaffenbichler, Meisterwerke der Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Kunsthistorischesmuseum, Vienna, 2005)

Materials

Steel

Techniques

Forged

Subjects depicted

Rope-work; Fluting

Categories

Arms & Armour; Metalwork; Europeana Fashion Project

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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