Waterloo helmet, part 2


When I posted last about about my Waterloo helmets, they looked like this:

Waterloo helmet 09

The most obvious omission at that points was the terminals at the tips of the horns. The British Museum claims that the originals were cast in situ, but that sounded awfully risky, so I opted to raise them from sheet and solder them in place. Here are the four of them, after sanding:

terminals 01

After mounting the terminals, only trim remained – and plenty of decorative rivets. Each helmet also had six hatched disks covered in vitreous enamel incorporated into the repoussé designs. This is where the two helmets began to diverge – one got transparent red enamel, so that the fine hatching was still visible through the glass, and the other got opaque red. The helmet with transparent enamel was left in an oxidized state, and the one with opaque enamel was hand-polished.

Here is a comparison of how they turned out:

Jaan Waterloo 02David-Waterloo-Helmet-2-002


And close-ups showing the colour and texture contrasts the different choices made. I would be hard-pressed to say which I prefer! How about you? Feel free to leave a comment!

Waterloo helmet 11



For more photos of the finished helmets, check out the Waterloo helmet portfolio listing.

4 Responses

  1. David Roper

    Fantastic reproductions but the opaque red glass is the more authentic ,I am not aware of any celtic transparent red enamel use.but I may be wrong it’s a big world with a lot of history.

    • Jeffrey Hildebrandt

      Thank you, David. I wasn’t able to find any examples of transparent red enamel on Celtic artefacts, either. I remain curious as to why the disks were so carefully hatched when the opaque enamel completely obliterated the effect. Any insight?

  2. David Roper

    Hi Jeffrey ,I have my suspicions that the hatched cells were to help the enamel hold on to the bronze. lots of (celtic) horse harness fittings and hanging bowls have deep scratches in a cross hatched style in the cells where the enamel has been.

  3. Barbara Barber

    That thing is just gorgeous! I’m an artist myself and struggle for perfection and that baby is perfection! I take off my (imagined) bunny eared helmet to you.

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