Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Paul Hackett's Helm

click on the images to enlarge. This is Paul Hackett's helm....a little bit customized, but still, pretty much simple and straightforward. It uses a standard spun top which I sanded clean, cut in half, re-shaped, then applied some decorative pieces.
As you can see, it comes in neatly at the sides, but still has plenty of space front and back. Some people have called me on the use of spinnings. All I can say is "Dude! These things are TEN Gauge! You don't pay me enough to bash 10ga. out by hand!!!
Besides, spinnings are perfectly period. The Sutton Hoo helm is built on a spinning. One could say all the Sutton Hoo helm is decoration applied to a spinning!

And a couple of close ups of the applied bronze piece which fits so neatly on top!
I think it is a decorative bronze for a door way. Oh well, recycling at its best. This cute little bronze piece has been kicking around the shop for a couple of years now, just waiting for Paul to take it home.

What you "don't" see is the leather suspension system I put into this helmet. I was anxious to get pictures while there was still some natural light, and gosh, its not like there is much to see inside anyway. A leather suspension system. With a little lace at the top to provide adjustment.

ip-location map zoom


Darrell Markewitz said...

"The Sutton Hoo helm is built on a spinning" Are you sure about that Bill? I have NOT studied the artifact in detail, but the alarm bells are going off here. I would expect helmet skulls from that period to have been two pieces, worked up hot from a bar. (currency bar is the starting point, roughly 3/4 square - 2 x 2 cm).

Brenda said...

I was trying to hunt down Herbert Maryon's book Metalwork and Enameling. I believe you have a copy Darrell, the relevent info is on page 104 to page 108.


(states that the Sutton Hoo seems to resemble a Roman Cavalry Parade Helm. Those were spun, as is mentioned here


(and lest you think that just because they are a LARP group, they don't know their stuff, their web site on unacceptable roman stuff is right here....and pretty much covers most everything available in the offshore market today!!! http://www.larp.com/legioxx/bad.html )

.......states that the helm is likely as much as 200 years younger than when it was buried. So the use of currency bars may not be germane. It might also explain the basic shape.


X-Radiographical examination and physical cleaning of the helmet fragments revealed that the helmet was composed of iron plates decorated with thin tinned bronze foils stamped with a series of complex figurative and decorative designs. A number of guilded bronze castings inlaid with silver wire, neillo, and garnets formed a nose piece with moustache, mouth, eyebrows and crest. Careful observation indicated that the thin tinned stamped bronze foils were afixed to the exterior of the iron plates using fluted bronze strips which overlay the foils and were riveted to the helmet. The corrosion process had fused the bronze and iron together to form a mineralized crust.
There were no records of the original positions of the pieces when they were uncovered from the excavation, thus the only guide was to try to piece together the helmet from the corroded iron pieces using actual joints and the patterns of the foils visible on the surface of many of the pieces.
From comparison of similar Vendel culture graves in Sweden it was clear that the helmet was composed of a skull cap to which a face mask, neck guards, and ear flaps were attached.

I am glad I researched this since I had been under the impression that the S.H. Helmet had been built upon a bronze skull cap, not a steel one.
So, it looks like I stand corrected...the Sutton Hoo only "looks" like it was built upon a spun top, since they apparently did not spin steel. Though it would be impossible to know for sure since it was fragmented, rusted, and in pretty bad shape when it was found.

I suppose one could spend a great deal of thought trying to figure why a 7th century Vendel would bash out a helmet to look like a 5th century Roman spinning, but maybe it is something akin to Union Station in Toronto being based on the Baths of Caracalla...it just "looks" classically great.

Fun stuff.
Steel spinnings are of course, not period in any medieval or classical culture.

Brenda said...

(Sorry, that was me posting on Brenda's account.)