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The Sutton Hoo Helmet

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Sutton Hoo Helmet
  • Description

    Iron and tinned copper alloy helmet, consisting of many pieces of iron, now built into a reconstruction, forming cap, cheek-pieces, mask and neck-guard. Covered with panels of tinned copper alloy sheeting. The copper alloy sheets are stamped with various patterns including animal interlace, and warrior motifs depicted in two panels. Three different dies were used for the figural scenes and two for the interlace. The warrior motifs are known as the "Dancing Warrior" and "Fallen Warrior". A crest runs over the cap of the helmet and leads down the face in a straight line, forming the nose, which is gilt copper alloy. The crest itself is of iron and has gilt animal terminals at the forehead and back of the head, the animals having cloisonné garnet eyes. The iron crest and copper alloy eyebrows are inlaid with silver wire; the eyebrows have gilt zoomorphic terminals consisting of boar heads, and strips of garnet cloisonné work immediately above the eye sockets. The nose and mouth-piece are cast as one; they are made of parcel-gilt and partly tinned copper alloy, with engraved detail and silver inlay.


  • School/style

  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 31.8 centimetres (as restored)
    • Circumference: 74.6 centimetres (as restored, at eyebrow level)
    • Width: 21.5 centimetres (as restored, at rim level)
    • Length: 25.5 centimetres (as restored, at rim level)
    • Weight: 2.5 kilograms (of original, estimated)
  • Curator's comments

    Most recent publication:

    S. Marzinzik, The Sutton Hoo Helmet. British Museum Object in Focus Series (London 2007).

  • Bibliography

    • Marzinzik 2013 106-107 bibliographic details
    • MacGregor 2010 47 bibliographic details
    • Bruce-Mitford 1978 Figs.103-109 bibliographic details
    • Speake 1980 pl 5c bibliographic details
  • Location


  • Exhibition history


    2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'

  • Subjects

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number


COMPASS Image Caption: Original helmet;The king's helmet from Sutton Hoo;Helmed y brenin o Sutton Hoo

Group of Objects

COMPASS Image Caption: Original helmet;The king's helmet from Sutton Hoo;Helmed y brenin o Sutton Hoo

Image description



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Object reference number: MCS16604

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