Sunday, March 31, 2013

These two separate helms from Austria are worth the time to examine, in only to clearly get an idea of the "form" of a real helmet.  They are salets with visors of course, very heavy ten guage or heavier, though it is a little hard to see that from behind the glass!
        These helms are for jousting.  The wearers were up on a horse.  Way up there.  Take a look at the second narrow the frontage is.  How narrow the eye slot is.  How sharp and defined a keel it has.
         What can we learn from this?  Well, among other things, we can learn that any serious impact on the "nose" would rock the helmet up.  Pushing the helmet back would cover the eye slot. 
         A more over riding question would of course be "Why have two parts, a top part (salat) and a bevor.  Would this not risk a lance head being shoved under the helmet?" Well, when you consider that they would employ a Grande Guard to prevent that eventuality (sometimes), they clearly didn't worry themselves about it too much.
         My thinking is that they were prepared to lose the salad if it got hit hard enough...better to lose the armour than to break your neck.  But that does not explain the popularity of a helmet form which you can get a lance head under!
         I may have to revisit this line of thinking...perhaps some of my readers have an idea or two on the subject.

 Oh, and the one below?  Well, I just had to include the most beautiful helm in the collection!  Click on it to see it in all its glory!

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Saturday, March 30, 2013

"plain" breastplate

This "simple" breastplate is a very serious piece of armour.  The only pointless decoration on it is that fancy fan out in front.  But piercing is a nice decorative touch, there is no etching or other silly fripperies as a part of this piece.  
It is in Austria, and part of the collection there, it is generally considered to be "Gothic" on the basis of its fluting and pierce work.  Closer examination reveals it to be more Burgundian than German, the flutes are not s deep as is generally found in German work, and the fancy dented safety rolls are positively Belgian!  Sliding rivets allow this armour to tuck under the pot belly. Often there is a "turn in" at the top of the placquart which makes it look thicker than it is...this feature is totally lacking.
The more you look at this piece of kit, the more things you can learn from it.  Salient points might include the deep pot belly, the lack of a keel, the ninety degree out turn at the neck. 
This was a sort of "erratic", an unlabeled piece of armour in the Austrica Museum.  One could do worse than to make armour like this.   

This armour was better seen from the side like this.

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