in heraldry, resting on the chief of the shield, and bearing
the crest, indicates rank. Gold, with six bars, or with the
visor raised (in full face) for royalty! Steel, with gold bars,
varying in number (in profile) for a nobleman; Steel, without bars,
and with visor open (in profile) for a knight or baronet; Steel,
with visor closed (in profile), for a squire or gentleman.
“The pointed helmet in the bas-reliefs from the earliest palace of
Nimroud appears to have been the most ancient ... Several were
discovered in the ruins. They were iron, and the rings which ornamented
the lower part ... were inlaid with copper.” —Layard: Nineveh and
its Remains, vol. ii. part ii. chap. iv. p. 262.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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