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General view
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Plant ornament
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The Hydra
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Helmet reconstraction
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This burgonet, created most probably in a Venetian workshop in the late 1550s, is an undoubted masterpiece of the Hermitage’s collection of decorative arms and armour. The helmet is covered with reddish blueing and decorated with stylized plant ornament created in the damascening technique with chasing and gilding. In the centre is a embossed image of a seven-headed Hydra that was the personal badge of the helmet’s owner, the noted Italian military commander Sforza Palaviccino (1510–1585), who served in the papal and Venetian forces.
This helmet was part of a suit of dress armour from which the shield, and arm-piece and gauntlet have also survived and are now in the Hermitage. In addition the crest from the helmet, in the shape of a seven-headed Hydra, is in the Metropolitan Museum in New York.



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