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Grant Fettis





Joined: 17 Aug 2007

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov, 2008 6:11 am    Post subject: Pluckley Sallet/Closed Helm         Reply with quote

Having a very lazy Sunday I decided to flick through some of the Armour references that I have. I must admit that I had not paid much attention to the Osprey English Medieval Knight 1400-1500, simply getting it for the central illustrations. However, on reading it I discovered the illustration at the bottom of page 31 titled "Sallet/Closed Helmet" dated 1485. This is described as a late English style sallet/closed helmet with pivoting visor and bevor originating from Pluckley Church in Kent and now owned by the Royal Armouries.

I did some searching on the internet and found the following which is the original auction entry for the Pluckley Helmet in 2001 (sadly no illustration):

"English, or Italian, or Flemish made for the English market, circa 1485 The one-piece skull with low keel-shaped comb, drawn up to a point at the apex (holed for the former fitting of a funerary-crest spike), following the shape of the back of the head and neck and then curving out to form a broad tail with turned bottom edge, cusped riveted brow-plate drawn up to a central point and with turned lower edge over the face-opening, deep pivoted bevor shaped to the chin and continued at the bottom as a narrow flange, on the left a fragment of a riveted reinforcing-bevor originally covering the lower edge of the visor (missing), and rows of lining-holes running across the back of the neck and bordering the main edges, the surface throughout heavily rust- patinated (several internal riveted patches) 12in. (30.5cm.) high PROVENANCE Pluckley Church, Kent Surrenden Dering House, Kent W.H. Fenton Sir Edward Barry, Bt., Ockwells Manor, Bray Sidney H. Barnett, Ockwells Manor and Claverdon Hall, Warwickshire, Sotheby & Co., London, 5 July 1965, lot 40 (420 to Lee) LITERATURE Laking 1905, pp. 70, 71 (illustrated second row left) Laking 1920, vol. II, pp. 92-4 and fig. 445, vol. V, p. 200 NOTES This is an example of an extremely rare type of helmet known only from two other examples and an illustration, all with English associations. The other examples are respectively in Godshill Church, Isle of Wight, and Stourton Church, Wiltshire, and the illustration is in the well-known English manuscript life of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick in the British Library, known as the Warwick Pageant which dates from circa 1483-90 (plate XL). The form of the skulls of all the helmets is closely similar to that on "Peeping Tom's" sallet in the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, and a funerary helmet in Harefield Church, Middlesex. Both of these sallets bear marks of Italian type, with split crosses over the letters 'ro', perhaps those used by Martin Rondelle, a Milanese armourer working in Bruges, who is recorded as supplying armour to the English Paston family in 1473. But see also the discussion of Rondelle's mark under lot 68 See Warwick Pageant, plate XL Laking 1920, vol. II, pp. 23-6, fig. 365, pp. 41-2, fig. 391, pp. 92-94, fig. 445 J, and vol. V, pp. 185, 212, 266, figs. 1631 and 1794 Barnes, passim."

Does anyone have any further information on this helmet or the ones listed as being at Godshill or Stourton (the latter now possibly at Leeds too)? Any pictures would be appreciated too..

regards and thanks in advance.
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