Original British Victorian Era Museum Quality 17th Century English Civil War Harquebusier Helmet Lot - 2 Helmets

Item Description

Original Items: Only One Lot Available. Now this is a fantastic helmet grouping! These helmets were constructed during the Victorian era, a time when “old armor” was used as decorations. Many of the wealthy people contracted skilled craftsmen to make replications of armor and helmets to use as display and decorate their homes with. These helmets were replicated to represent 17th century armor used 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.

Both of the helmets are in wonderful display condition but do show their age. There is no liner or any type of suspension in either of the helmets and the smaller of the two has extensive surface rust and pitting present.

A lovely pair ready for further research and display.

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