This scan is of a helmet in the museum’s medieval collection. This particular helmet is on display and is a high quality helmet made in Greenwich by the Royal Armouries. A Harquebusier was a lightly armoured cavalryman armed with a carbine and sword, used in fast moving ‘shock attacks’. These tactics were greatly favoured by Royalist Commander Prince Rupert.
This scan is of an iron ‘hat’ that is made in the style of the ordinary hat of the day in 1630. Of heavy construction, it is made for combat use, but also with the contemporary fashion in mind!
This scan is of a Foot Soldier’s Leather Helmet from the 1600s. The common soldier, as a cheap alternative to an iron helmet, would have used this very rare leather helmet.
This scan of an Ancient Chinese Helmet is identical to a number of other helmets, which are linked to the Zhou Dynasty of China who ruled as kings of China from 1046-221 BC. The power of the Zhou Dynasty diminished through the latter five centuries, before they were usurped by the Qin who formed the first Imperial Dynasty in China.
This helmet is made of hardened bronze, and would have been worn by soldiers in the large armies of the Zhou kings. These forces were well organised and disciplined, often with standardised equipment. Helmets like this are found in large numbers for objects of this age, in part because bronze does not degrade as rapidly as iron or steel.
The ridges on the helmet would serve as decoration, whilst also dispersing the energy of broad sword blows. There is a ring of squares seen on the base of the helmet, for suspending chain mail or leather covers over the neck and shoulders. It is a well made piece, which would be resilient to blows even from iron weapons.
This scan is of a ‘Death’s Head’ Helmet that is part of the museum’s armour collection. This type of helmet appeared in Germany and was designed to startle the enemy by its appearance.
The visor is sharply pointed for deflection of a lance.
This armour’s round shape was designed to deflect blows. Note the two piece breast plate. This was the evolutionary step between the Coat of Plates and the later Breastplate.
Edward, Prince of Wales from 1330 – 1376, the eldest son of King Edward III and father to King Richard II is buried in a near identical piece in the crypt of Canterbury Cathedral.