Detail View: The AMICA Library: Pikeman's Helmet

AMICA ID: 
CMA_.1923.1063.a-d
AMICA Library Year: 
1998
Object Type: 
Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Creator Nationality: 
British
Creator Dates/Places: 
England
Creator Name-CRT: 
England, Greenwich (?), 17th Century
Title: 
Pikeman's Helmet
Title Type: 
Primary
View: 
Full View
Creation Date: 
c. 1620-1630
Creation Start Date: 
1620
Creation End Date: 
1630
Materials and Techniques: 
steel with brass rivets and black paint
Classification Term: 
Armor
Classification Term: 
Arms
Classification Term: 
Arms
Dimensions: 
Overall: 38.5cm x 26cm x 23.5cm
AMICA Contributor: 
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 
1923.1063.a
ID Number: 
1923.1063.b
ID Number: 
1923.1063.c
ID Number: 
1923.1063.d
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance
Rights: 
Context: 
Pikemen formed the backbone of infantry tactics through the end of the English Civil Wars (1642-1651). Because the rate of fire of musketeers was too slow to defend themselves against cavalry charges during the slow reloading process, companies of pikemen armed with pikes of from twelve to sixteen feet in length, were deployed in defensive formations to protect the unarmored musketeers. The pikemen, wearing armor such as this against lance thrusts and sword cuts, stood in massed squares. The musketeers were deployed on the flanks and retreated behind the pikemen when the cavalry attacked.The pikeman was equiped with a corselet like this one, consisting of a breastplate and backplate, hinged tassets reaching to mid-thigh, and sometimes a neck piece or "gorget", worn over a heavy buffcoat. High boots replaced leg armor. A brimmed, high-combed helmet known as a "pot" was worn to protect the head. A plume-holder may be seen at the back of this helmet.The tassets of this suit, though beaten from a single piece of metal, were embossed to simulate six lames. This imitation of a much more expensive construction was common in ready-made, unfitted, cheap armor. The armor of an infantryman saw hard service, and it was usually colored and treated (though theblack paint seen here is modern) to control rusting and to add decorative interest.
Related Image Identifier Link: 
CMA_.1923.1063.a-d.tif