Auction News

Unique 18th-century cavalry helmet was hidden in London home


A one-of-a-kind Irish helmet was discovered sitting on a shelf of hats by a London auction house. Now, the Tarleton-pattern helmet is up for sale. It is expected to raise hundreds of pounds but is so unusual it’s hard to give it a value.

The headgear is a black bearskin helmet. It has a gilt trim, leopard skin band, and a plume on the side.

It would have been worn by a member of the Kinnelea & Kerricurrihy Cavalry, an Irish regiment.

Hansons London discovered the helmet while collecting other items for sale. Military exoerts believe there is no other surviving helmet of the same sort.

It is called a Tarleton helmet after British general Sir Banastre Tarleton, who popularized the flambouyant style during the American Revolutionary War. British mounted troops wore the style into the early 1800s.

Hansons associate director Chris Kirkham said the item is “a museum piece”.

The owner had no idea of its rarity or value. It has been in their family since the 1780s.

The US Revolutionary War helmet will be offered at Hansons London at auction on October 28.

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