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Armet

Unknown1520/1540

The Victoria and Albert Museum

The Victoria and Albert Museum

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).

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Details

  • Title: Armet
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 1520/1540
  • Location: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 33 cm approx, Width: 24.5 cm, Depth: 34 cm, Weight: 3.04 kg
  • Provenance: Bequeathed by Mr G. H. Ramsbottom through The Art Fund
  • Medium: Steel, forged

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