Helmet

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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