Helmet


This appears above the shield, and its typing position indicates the rank of the owner.
An ancient piece of defensive armour for the head; it covered the face, leaving an aperture in the front, secured by bars: this was called the visor. The helmet is now placed over a coat of arms; and by the metal from which it is made, the form, and position, denotes the rank of the person whose arms are emblazoned beneath it.

  • The helmets of sovereigns are formed of burnished gold; those of princes and peers, of every degree, silver figured with gold; knights, esquires, and gentlemen, polished steel.
  • The helmets of the king, the royal family, and peers, are open-faced and grated: the number of bars served formerly to distinguish the bearer’s quality. The helmets of knights are open-faced, without bars. Esquires and gentlemen are known by the close helmet.
  • The position of the helmet is a mark of distinction. The direct front view of the grated helmet belongs to sovereign princes and dukes.
  • The grated helmet in profile is common to all degrees of peerage under a duke.
  • The helmet without bars, with the beaver open, standing directly fronting the spectator, denotes a knight.
  • The closed helmet seen in profile is appropriated to esquires and gentlemen.