Europe, Italy or Spain, ca. early to mid-17th century CE. A fine set of armaments consisting of a hammered steel cabasset helmet and breastplate. The domed cabasset has a "pear stalk" peak that forms a vertical ridge above a band of riveted brass floral ornaments and a flat, uniform brim and could comfortably fit the head of a large man. The steel breastplate has a peaked naval region above a semicircular central cut-out, six riveted buckles with remains of original leather straps, an interior outline of riveted brass flowers, and a T-shaped hallmark on the left fauld. Lustrous brown patina has accrued over the armor pieces. Size (breastplate): 15.125" W x 18" H (38.4 cm x 45.7 cm); (helmet): 8.5" W x 7.375" H (21.6 cm x 18.7 cm); 37" H (94 cm) on included custom stand.
The cabasset helmet was a form that originated in Italy and was created from the early 16th to early 17th centuries. While similar to the Spanish morion helmet in that it has a flat brim and a peaked form, it does not share the crest/comb that adorns the Spanish morion. Akin to its Spanish counterpart, the cabasset was worn by infantry during the pike and shot formations. The cabasset was also very popular in 16th century England and was used during the English Civil War (22 August 1642 to 3 September 1651). What's more, the Pilgrims took several cabasset helmets to the New World, and one was found on Jamestown Island.
Provenance: ex-estate of Eldert Bontekoe, Pegasi Numismatics, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, acquired in May 2015 (helmet); (helmet) ex-private collection; (breastplate) ex-private Lithuanian collection
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Restoration to some brass flower appliques on breastplate and leather straps replaced. Minor fissure to peak of cabasset, with abrasions to cabasset and breastplate, darkening to some brass appliques, and desiccation to leather straps. Lustrous patina throughout.