Saturday, June 20, 2009

Prague Armour

These are Kim's pictures of armour in the Prague Castle. You will have to click on them to see them in full size. Although I personally believe all these helms to be replicas, (I use the term loosley...I personally suspect these helms date no farther back than the Gothic Revival of the late 19th and early 20th century, or alternatively, the activities of a teacher of history with a lot of time on his hands sometime since then) the collection is still pretty useful for anybody who likes to see nicely made armour outside of the confines of a book cover.

The above picture is of some barrel helms. They show off some nice variations on a standard barrel, clearly made from sheet steel, and they look fantastic. The cow horns are a nice touch.

above are a nice group of pole weapons. I have been told on uncertain authority that the pole weapons were stacked like this in racks on the battle field when the troops were eating or sleeping in order to provide a screen against cavalry. I imagine it also kept the clumsy things out of the mud, and out from under foot.
to the left is a pig faced bascinet. I hate that term since it doesn't look anything LIKE a pig..but it wasn't MY idea to give it that name. Both bascinets are built with flip up visors which look like they will protect pretty well.

Above is an archer's hat. Below are a couple of helms which would not be out of place in most any battle, either IN Bohemia or pretty much anywhere else.

The above is called a "bellows" visore'd helmet. The visor is in two parts, the forehead and face plate are hinged on the same point. The Ninja stars on the thats just cute.

I know how much work went into this...plenty! Hard to tell what gauge the steel is, however if this is a useable helm, we are likely looking at 16 gauge or heavier. A lovely bit of sculpture. The crown of copper is very telling...that is so clearly Art Nouveau....which gives an early date. But then, this is Prague, the home of Alphonse Mucha, and the hotbed of art nouveau, so it could have been made any time after he did his work in the early 1920's.

Above is a good shot of the helms from below. Dont usually get to see the inside of armour. demonic! Love it!

The helm at the top is really is the helm most people think of when they think of a knight in shining armour. It is called a "close helm" since it fits so closely. The helm at the top right is kind of neat...the whole front, including a very functional looking gorget, flips up. On the second tier down is a morion....the usual helmet used all over during the renaissance.

Top left is a three bar lobster tail. I thought they were pretty much an English thing, but they could have been used elsewhere I suppose. The rest are variants of this ordinance grade helmet. Because they were made from spinnings, they tended to be very much bowl shaped, and in fact during the great revolution in England, the fight was between the "Cavaliers" (horse riding nicely armoured knights) and the "Round Heads", (soldiers in cheap round headed helmets and great thick leather buff coats.) Like the barrel helms in the top picture, this picture shows some of the variants of a basic design one could encounter on the battlefield.
The wings are a nice touch...

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