Original British 17th Century English Civil War Harquebusier Lobstertail Helmet - Circa 1640

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Set Available. Now this is a fantastic armor grouping! This armor dates back to the 17th during the The English Civil War (1642–1651). The war was a series of civil wars and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers"), mainly over the manner of England's governance and issues of religious freedom.

The harquebusier would usually be armed with a wheellock, snaphaunce or doglock flintlock carbine hung from a swivel attached to a baldric, pistols in saddle holsters, and a stout, straight-bladed sword. The 'dog' of the doglock was a type of safety-catch used to prevent the unintentional firing of the carbine when on horseback. Records also indicate that some harquebusiers were also armed with a horseman's poleaxe or pick, which were hafted weapons with axe or hammer heads and armor-piercing spikes.

The typical harquebusier would have an iron cuirass with a breast and backplate, and an open-faced helmet such as a lobster-tailed pot; the fashion-conscious could replace the helmet with a broad-brimmed felt hat, often worn over a concealed iron skullcap or secrete. In England, in 1629, a harquebusier's armor cost one pound and six shillings, that of a cuirassier four pounds and ten shillings. A more wealthy harquebusier may have worn a buff coat (the finest quality buff coats were often more expensive than an iron cuirass) under his armor and a metal gauntlet to protect his bridle hand and forearm. Also worn were tall, cuff-topped riding boots; these reached the thigh and were often also of buff leather. Munition-quality (mass-produced) armor at this time was usually of iron, sometimes containing small amounts of phosphorus; this addition gave a minimal increase in hardness. Officers and other wealthy men would have had access to steel armor, which was carefully heat-treated to harden it.

This is the classic helmet used by Cromwell's "ROUNDHEADS" so named for the shape of the helmet. The helmet is a forged iron Lobster Tail helmet with articulated neck guard, unventilated suspended ear covers and frontal peak to which is attached the classic English ONE BAR adjustable nose guard. The single sliding Nose Guard is of Continental origin during this same period and later. The leather for the side ear flaps are somewhat new replacements but have been on the helmet for a long while.

This is truly a beautiful example that comes ready for further research and display!

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