Swiss Shako helmet made from leather and felt

GBP 1,500.00

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Object Description

Swiss Shako helmet made from leather and felt
Swiss, 19th Century
Height 30cm, width 20cm, depth 26cm

This fantastic piece is a 19th century Swiss military helmet, of the shako-type, and is filled with details that tell us about the country’s military history. The body of the shako is made from black felt and leather, with thick black leather visors at the front and back of the helmet to shield the soldier.

In the centre of the silver rim is a pompon with a horse-hair aigrette, adding a touch of decoration which is often not preserved on these models. There is also embossed lion decoration on the sides of the shako. An eight-point star adorns the front of the helmet, surmounted by a Swiss Cross upon a wreath. The number 20 signifies the regiment of the Swiss army which the helmet’s owner would have been a part of.

The shako became common military headdress in Europe and America from the beginning of the 19th century onwards. Whilst previous helmets, such as the bicorne, were much lighter in design, the heavy materials of the shako meant that it provided greater protection and was able to better retain its shape, and the introduction of a shading visor protected the soldier’s eyes.

An interesting piece of history in its own right, this well-preserved helmet would make an excellent and unusual gift for anyone interested in military history.

Object Details

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