Artifact of the Day

935.j

Close-helmet

Germany (possibly Saxony) (ca. 1555-60)

Composite helmet of steel of close-helmet form. One-piece skull with medium height, plain comb. At the base is a restored, tubular plume-holder incised with decorative lines, and secured with a transverse pair of dome-headed rivets. Extending around the base of the skull and the facial opening are five dome-headed, and eight flattened rivets, respectively, all fitted with iregularly round washers. On the right side of the skull is a spring-catch with flat-headed release, for securing to the bevor. The basal flange is fitted with two gorget plates, both apparently restored. There articulate on dome-headed rivets. The flange and next lower lame are pierced with sets of punched holes at the extremities and medial line, with a third hole at this point. The rounded terminal lame has an inwardly-turned, roped edge with triple sunken-band border, the main band of which is filled with thirteen modern dome-headed rivets and etched with foliate motifs on a blackened granular ground. The thinner, inner set of bands is plain black, and etched in a pelleted pattern, respectively. Anterior edges of these lames, as well as around the base of the neck and facial opening are etched with similar pelleted designs. The comb and sides of the skull are longitudinally etched with modern bands of foliate tendrils, hunting dogs and quarry, snails and grotesque figures, all on a granular, blackened ground within a thin etched-band border. Bevore seems true, but is asssociated and etched later. Edges are plain except for that around the facial opening which is inwardly turned over a wire core and roped. A single sunken band, pierced for ten flush rivets (two lacking) is etched in foliate motifs, banded globular sweillings, wings and coiled designed follow the opening. This decoration extends vertically down the medial ridge of the chin, flange and both gorget plates. The other edges are bordered with a beaded band that also passes transversly under the chin. Above this band are seven dome-headed, lining retaining rivets and irregularly-rounded washers, with piercings for an eighth (lacking). At the right terminal of the line is a rounded hole which engages the spring-catch from the skull.

The gorget defense is associated, and each plate to the other. These are very similarly decorated, with the lower plate being slightly pointed. There is a triple sunken band border, cusped at the medial line, and generally similarly etched to that of modern dome-headed rvets and octagonal washers retaining remnants of a modern leather strip. The edge is inwardly turned and roped. Both lames are secured like those of the rear defense, have a pair of holes at the lower edge of terminal and medial area for articulating leathers and rivets (one set remains on the flange). The outer hole of the set at the terminals holds the new articulating rivets. On the inner, right side of the bevor, near the chin is an irregularly "I" shaped iron palte secured with a vertical pair of rivets at its posterior edge, and a flat-headed stud and spring-catch on the other. This engages the lower edge of the upper-bevor. At the temples, the bevor terminals are punched for pivots, that of the left being a modernly-enlarged circular hole, the right with a squared hole. The pivots do not belong; one is a modern, slightly dome-headed type with a hexagonal nut. The other is ancient of eight-petalled, faceted floral form, with a mitered and squared nut. The pivot while old, is associated as it lacks the squared basal shank necessary to engage the form of the right pivot-hole.

The restored upper-bevor is deep, with slightly cusped lower side edges, and a pronounced slope of the front edge. While largely worn away, the vertical band of etching at the medial line seems to be of the same character as that of the comb. The edges are pelleted as those described above. Both arms are circularly punched. The upper right edge is pierced forward with an oval hole for the visor catch, and to the rear of this with an irregularly semi-circular notch for the lifting-peg. On the lower edge immediately below is a circular, punched hole for the catch from the bevor.

The visor is associated. This is deep, with a slightly outwardly flaring step below the divided pair of occularia. The pronounced brow is cusped at the defined medial ridge which extends full-length. The brow is fitted to either side of the center line with a dome-headed rivet-filled hole, perhaps once for a reinforce. The raised moulding that divides the occularia extends out onto the plane of the step. Below and to either side are two obliquely punched rows of open figure-eight shaped breaths, four per row, on the forward-jutting face below the sights. The lower edge of the visor is slightly cusped and inwardly angled to fit within the upper bevor, and is mounted on the right with a laterally pivoted, secured iron bar with modern lifting-peg. The anterior of the bar is fashioned as a right-angled stud which passes through an oval hole punched in the lower edge, and engages a similar hole in the upper-bevor. The upper edge of the visor seems to have been cut back. There are three etched bands of foliate and cornucopia motifs within thin etched and blackened lines, the three spaced evenly across the brow, with the central band extending down along the medial line. Around the perimeter of the visor are below the occularia is a pelleted border.