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Details about  17th century antique Funerary Close Helmet English Civil War old knight armour

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17th century antique Funerary Close Helmet English Civil War old knight armour
Item Ended
Item condition:
Nov 25, 2011 11:05:09 PST
Starting bid:
US $4,750.00
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$130.00 Standard Shipping | See details
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Item location:
Brignac, France


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Item specifics

Used: An item that has been used previously. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of ... Read moreabout the condition


                    This is one of a couple of personal items from my private collection I have reluctantly decided to sell to help finance my house restoration project.

          * See my YouTube channel for 360° movie describing this helmet in detail *
           (ebay no longer permits the listing of youtube links, but if you search for either 'nigel carren' or 'Funerary helmet' will find it easily.)

English c17th Century Funerary Helmet

In English chapels in the 16th and 17th century, Funerary Helmets were hung above the tombs of military heroes and important nobles. Though often made using the deceased’s actual helmet, these were never intended to be worn, they were intended only to symbolise the deceased’s family’s military and noble standing.

The skull of this helmet is a genuine 17th century piece and is almost certainly from a ‘Closed Burgonet’… probably the deceased’s actual helmet that saw combat during The English Civil War.

This helmet is original and quite untouched… even the ‘Funerary Spike’, which in this case has been expertly made by wrapping two pieces of yellow-hot iron which were then forged to a sharp point. It is upon this spike that the deceased's heraldic ‘Achievements’ would have been mounted, which were usually an interpretation of a single element of the family's coat of arms.

The shafts of the brass rivets that originally secured the internal leather skull lining-strip when this helmet was worn and the plume-holder remain, further illustrating the period nature of this piece.

Funerary helmets are very rare. This helmet is especially so, as most have a ‘Barred visor’ whereas this helmet has a beautifully exaggerated Ventail, echoing the Greenwich close-helmets of the period. Genuine Funerary helmets such as this rarely reach the market, because it would seem that most have been (perhaps foolishly) converted back to their military form using reproduction elements back in the 19th century… purely for commercial reasons.

The value of this exceptionally rare piece is it’s historical integrity.

This helmet weighs approximately 4Lb’s (approximately 2kg) and measures 18” from the base of the Gorget to the top of the spike (27” with the reproduction achievement).

Please feel free to ask me any questions.

Good luck and happy bidding

Nigel Carren

NB: As a footnote, whilst it has never to my knowledge been debated, it is my opinion that all true Funerary helmets were symbolically rivetted closed, so that no living person shall wear the helmet again, no doubt as a mark of respect to the dead soldier entombed below.

Please note these items will be sent from my French address. All items are also available for collection from this address.Contact me for payment methods to pay on pick-up. Where a postal charge is shown, this is for insured trackable signed-for parcel post to the United States so naturally shipping will be cheaper for Europe. If you would prefer cheaper uninsured standard post then please tell me within 24 hours of the end of the auction. If you do prefer standard post then it must be understood that this is entirely at your own risk. Many thanks and happy bidding.

Casque funéraire anglais du 17ème  (Traduction Francais)

Aux 16ème et 17ème siècle, en Angleterre, les casques funéraires étaient suspendus au-dessus des tombes des héros  militaries et des nobles importants. Bien que souvent fabriqués à partir du casque réel de la personne décédée, ils n’étaient jamais destinés à être portés, mais seulement à symboliser le statut militaire et/ou noble de la famille du décédé. Le crane de ce casque est une authentique pièce du 17ème siècle, et provident probablement certainement d’un casque “Oignon Burgonet”… de ce casque que portrait la personne décédée, qui vit un combat de la Guerre Civile Anglaise.

Ce casque est original et tout à fait intact… y compris la “pointe funéraire” qui, dans ce cas, a été fabriquée de façon experte en enroulant deux morceaux d’acier jaune chaud, ensuite forgées jusqu’à une  pointe.  C’est sur cette pointe que les “Emblèmes” du blason étaient montés. Ces derniers étaient généralement l’interprétation d’un élément unique du manteau d’armure de la famille.

Restent encore sur le casque les pointes des rivets en laiton qui originellement renforçaient la bande de cuir garnissant le crâne quand le casque était porté, ainsi que le « porte-plume », ce qui témoigne encore une fois de la nature de la période dont date cette pièce.

Les casques funéraires sont très rares. Encore plus celui-ci, car la plupart ont une « visière bloquée », alors que ce casque a un « Ventail » joliment exagéré, ce qui fait écho aux casques-fermés Greenwich de la période. D’authentiques casques funéraires tels que celui-ci se trouvent peu sur le marché, parce qu’il semblerait que la plupart auraient été (sans doute stupidement) reconvertis au 19ème siècle vers leur forme militaire à l’aide d’éléments issus de reproductions… simplement pour des raisons commerciales. .

La valeur de cette pièce exceptionnellement rare est son intégrité historique.

Ce casque pèse approximativement 2kg, et mesure 46 cm de la base de la georgette jusqu’au bout de la lance (69 cm avec la reproduction de l’emblème)

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