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English Jousting Helm in 15th C Style, 19th C

ex-Warwick Castle Collection



"Frog mouth" style formed of a low medially-ridged crown plate sloping forward to the upper edge of a broad V-shaped vision slit, projecting downwards at its rear as a narrow tail piece and fitted at its apex with an oval reinforcing plate and vertical spike for the attachment of a funerary crest. Front plate sloping forward to the inward-turned lower edge of the vision slit and a pair of rear plates disposed to either side of the tail piece; the plates joined by round-headed rivets. Lower edge of the helm flanged outwards and pierced with pairs of stitch holes for the attachment of a lining (extensively corroded and patched, painted black overall). Warwick Castle Inventory no. A040 on attached metal tag. The helmet appears to have been inspired by a distinctive group of jousting helms of the first half of the 15th Century preserved as parts of funerary achievements in English churches. See J. G. Mann 1933, pp. 152-4 and T. Richardson 1996, pp. 68-72). These include an example now in the Wallace Collection, London, Cat. No. A186, well known to collectors from the early 19th century when it formed a part of the collection of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick of Goodrich Court, Herefordshire. This helm is likely to have been made to the order of the celebrated 19th century arms dealer Samuel Luke Pratt of Bond Street, London who was the chief provider of both genuine and reproduction armor to English collectors at the time of the Gothic Revival. See G. F. Laking 1922, pp. 13-30.