Gilded steel (invaded with rust); red velvet lining, plume holder
Overall: 33 x 34 x 21.3 cm (13 x 13 3/8 x 8 3/8 in.)
Weight: 3.83 kg (8.44 lbs.)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1787
This helmet was decorated with a technique known as fire-gilding, an incredibly toxic process involving mercury that produced a gold finish, now worn away.
This helmet was originally intended for field use. Later, it seems to have served a funerary purpose, probably as an ornament (known as a funerary achievement) suspended over the church tomb of an unidentified knight. As such, it would have been a rich and imposing symbol of the dead knight's social rank and personal authority.
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