AN ENGLISH OR FLEMISH CLOSE HELMET, CIRCA 1560
with one-piece skull rising to a high roped medial comb pierced at its apex with a later hole to receive a spike on which to mount a funerary crest, and visor, upper bevor and lower bevor attached to it by common dome-headed pivots, the forward-sloping visor formed beneath its centrally-divided vision-slit with an inward-turned step, pierced at its front with eight small circular ventilation-holes and fitted at its right side with a baluster-ended lifting-peg that also serves as the pull to release a spring-catch that engages a hole in the lower bevor, the latter cut with a notch to accommodate the lifting-peg of the visor, fitted at the right of the chin with a further spring-catch (lacking its pull-release) to engage a hole in the lower edge of the upper bevor, and pierced at the right its neck with a hole to attach a swivel-hook to engage a pierced stud projecting from the front of the skull, the lower edges of both the skull and lower bevor flanged outwards to receive missing gorget-plates, the helmet decorated to either side of its comb and at the upper edge of its upper bevor with recessed bands, and at the upper edges of its visor and upper bevor respectively with partial and full turns, roped in the latter case, the whole covered with grey funerary paint now in part corroded and flaking
31.0 cm; 12¼ in
Sir William ffarington, Worden Hall, Lancashire
A private English collection
The helmet owes its survival to having been suspended over an English tomb as part of an heraldic achievement.
It at one time formed part of the collection assembled at Worden Hall, Lancashire, by Sir William ffarington (c. 1704-81) after 1765. It is unlikely to have formed a part of the Hall's indigenous armoury which was sequestered by Parliament in 1643 (ffarington 1856, p. 93), although it is said that a helmet - very likely the present lot - together with other pieces, did service as a funerary achievement that was eventually removed from the ffarington Chapel in Leyland Church in 1816 (De Cosson & Burgess 1881, p. 591).
An 18th century inventory of the collection is preserved in New Zealand while three of the 19th century are preserved in private hands in England. The collection was sold by a local auctioneer in 1948.
Two late 16th century jacks of plate and an associated pair of plate-sleeves from the same collection were sold in these rooms, 7th December 2016, lots 511-13.
S. M. ffarington, The ffarington Papers, Chetham Society, 1856, p. 93.
A. de Cosson & W. Burgess, "Catalogue of the Exhibition of Ancient Helmets and Examples of Mail", Archaeological Journal, Vol. XXXVII, 1881, p. 591.
£4000 - 5000 Click here for details of BP and other fees payable on this lot.