Artwork in focus

Regularly, we will focus on a particular object from the departmental collections of Grand Patrimoine. You will find a short, illustrated presentation to discover its history, thanks to our experts.


Discover this astonishing object from the Dobrée collections!

This strange-looking helmet is an armet from the early 17th century. It was a heavy head piece, mass-produced to be worn by foot soldiers during the siege wars.

 This particular piece is called a “Savoyard armet”. The name comes from the Duke of Savoy’s troops who, according to tradition, wore this particular helmet when they attacked the city of Geneva, during the night of 11 – 12 December 1602. The helmet is also known under the name of Todenkopf – German for “skull head” – in reference to the shape of some visors that resembles the shape of a skull, just like the one presented at the Dobrée museum.

 Armets are always made of several different parts:

  • The skull, forged as two separate plates and hinged by articulated elements.
  • The face is protected by a mask with two round openings for the eyes and a slightly hollowed triangle to evoke the mouth.
  • At the top, there is a visor that copies the arch of the eyebrows and emphasizes it, while the neck is protected by a small gorget (a piece of metal that covers the neck and parts of the collarbone). Bullet impacts are still visible at the top and back of the skull.

 You can now admire this object from every angle thanks to the image gallery below and soon, you will find videos detailing other pieces.

The “Savoyard armet” from every angle! cg44.plugin.grandpatrimoineplugin.portailAccueil.label.afficher-masque