Monday, May 12, 2008

Pictures from Prague

Pierre took these pictures from his visit to Prague Castle. This is the biggest castle in Europe, and the armour is really quite interesting. It looks too new though! Maybe it is just being really well kept! click on the pictures to enlarge.

The above picture has in the foreground a couple of really pretty dog faced bascinets. And lower down a couple of the morions which became popular in the renaissance. These are northern European morions, and they don't have the little tag at the top, but the one on the left has a comb, and the one on the two lower down on the right are the tall "high hat morions" that must have taken a smith an uncounted age to make. The lower one has a flat brim. Very unusual.
The three bottom helms are clearly jousting helms....those very narrow eye slots. These are the helms you usually see on coats of arms, and is the helm which is assigned to an esquirry. The bottom helm is also a jousting helm, but there is something interesting going on in back of it! Maybe you get into it by opening the back.

Any single one of these helms is worthy of extensive discussion....we can only happily look at them and think about the times they would have had to wear these!

The top three are "spectacle helms", and they look like spinnings. You can even see the horizontal tool marks from the spinning tool in the middle one! I love the way the sides draw upwards on the sides of the skull in one big swoop! Wonderful! The little lathe turned spikes are kind of wonders why they bothered....but hey, it makes the wearer look tough, and maybe that was the point.

The nasal helms all down the right are clearly hammered out from stock of some kind. The hammer welds are really good, which implies they are actual iron, rather than the modern steel. The Norman Helm (second from bottom on the right) seems to still have a leather chin strap hanging off it. That would have to be a more or less modern addition since it is unlikely that leather would have lasted some 900 years! I like the shape of the nasals though....very nicely done.

On the left appears to be a grilled face Roman inspired Norman Helm. That mongrel would require closer examination. I have never seen anything like it. Again, it appears to be built upon a spinning, with some decorative brass spangens.

The middle bottom helms are clearly Helms...designed to fit over top of a helmet. They don't need to be pretty to be functional! These are battle helms, and would have been used in battle, not the joust.

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