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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 12:39 am    Post subject: Question for the forums about Migration era helm repro's...         Reply with quote

Hello all,
First post here. Long time lurker though.
I apologize in advance for the length.

I found a thread from 2005 on the forums featuring a discussion about "Ostrogothic" Spangenhelms. It's a nice enough thread with some good images of a few choice, genuine examples of these helms. However there wasn't any discussion of reproductions or currently produced versions of said. Being new to the world of buying repro's (not to the history though), I thought I would "ask the experts" as it were what your opinion of the various helm-makers and armourers was with specific respect to Migration/Germanic variants of the Spangenhelm from the third through seventh centuries.

When I scan the web for reproduction sources of Spangenhelms, I find a variety of versions which range from very simple to (rarely) heavily decorated. Sadly most of the Spangenhelms I have found are of the Norman and therefore much later type. They are also almost always four-band versions and desperately simple (although I have to admit one of the BestArmour versions is stunning). Then there are the Viking era Helms with the highly prominent brow guards and occasionally full faces; which also tend to be quite plain unless you include the Sutton Hoo helm which I've seen a couple times. Lastly I have come across many sources which sell very late Roman Cavalry and Ridge helms which resemble the Germanic helms quite a bit (from the right angle I guess Happy). But in all of my searching, I have yet to find a helm which is specifically of the Migration era Germanic style from the third through the seventh centuries.

And that appears to be about all I have been able to dig up. Have I missed something? My impression is that most of what is available is cheap in terms of both material/workmanship and price. Is this the wrong impression? I turn to you because you have a familiarity with manufacturers who specialize enough that they may not need to fight their way to the top of Google's hierarchy to get customers. Word of mouth still rules in the world of genuine quality and that's really all the advertising a craftsman would need, especially given that exceptional pieces can and often would take months to make. Correct?

Since I am looking for an exceptionally crafted piece, made from materials which are heavier than display grade and of a very specific style which I am at a loss to find available anywhere, I am submitting a "formal" request for help in suggesting helm-makers who already make nice Migration era Germanic Spangenhelms or could custom make me something that would really knock my socks off. I would be interested in either a more austere "battle" variant or something similar to the heavily decorated versions one sees from museum and private collections. I understand that the price differences between these two ends of the spectrum will be extreme, but if I can chat with someone about it, I'm sure I could either arrive at a nice compromise or just be talked into the top end piece... I'm a desperately easy sell when it comes to obvious craftsmanship, but that craftsmanship *would* have to be there.

Can anyone help me with this search? Can you offer suggestions for armour makers who really (ahem) shine? If we're talking about several $K, then I might have to rethink this, but the low four figures would not necessarily scare me off.

Done.

Again, sorry for the length.

Aaron/Seattle
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Danny Grigg





Joined: 17 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 4:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron

Not sure if this is what you're looking for, but take a look:

http://www.gotscha.nl/uk-spangenhelm.htm

Danny
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 259

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 6:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Aaron

Take a look at http://living-history.no/wahre/sspsa1.jpg

I ordered that helm from Russel Thomas a few years back. It's rather simple compared to other examples of the kind, but that was what I wanted at the time. Be assured, Russ can probably make anything you can come up with Wink. The only downside may be price, as materials and hourly rates are somewhat high in Norway.

Johan Schubert Moen
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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello Aaron, welcome to myArmoury. I, too, am interested in that Gothic spangenhelm, specifically the combination of copper alloy frame and iron spangens which make, IMO, a very handsome piece. I have been in contact with a Polish armorer who makes what he calls Archers' Helms from Trajan's Column, but they are not so pointed as the Roman Archers' Helms that I have seen from other carvings and such and they resemble the Gothic spangenhelm more than anything else. He has two models which he will make to your specifications, including etching or incising, but he quoted me prices of $400 & $500 for the basic helms plus $40 or $50 for the leather padding and suspension inside. They can be seen at:
http://www.thorkil.ovh.org/archer_2.htm and
http://www.thorkil.ovh.org/archer_1.htm

Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen,
You're all very kind for taking the time to respond. Thank you very much.
I feel now that I probably should have included an image with my post; just to clarify what it is that I'm looking for. However I didn't wish to mess up the post by uploading incorrectly or potentially breaking forum rules Happy

Danny:
That is *precisely* what I was looking for! It's also actually something which I did find in my search, but I only found it in what I think must have been the Georgian language version, so I couldn't read the subtext. I did get the impression at the time that his pieces were reconstructions for museums and private collections and not for general sale, i.e. one off items and probably therefore incredibly expensive. To be honest this was, IMO anyway the most impressive work I had seen and looking at it again I am stunned by the quality and workmanship in all of this fellow's pieces. I would *love* to commission him to make a piece for me! I'll contact him and ask. I'll let you know what he says in response if you're interested in his price range yourself. Thank you for this.
As a side note, while just now looking through the rest of the site, I came across another Migration era Spangenhelm on the Dutch language version of the site which it appears he may have made for "practical demonstrations" (I think) for students. I'm of the opinion that this one is actually nicer than the all gold version.

Johan:
This looks like a six-banded version of the helm and for that reason alone I would be very interested in talking to Russel. Thank you very much for this information. Although the one in the image reminds me more of a Norse or Viking application, it looks to be made very well and definitely looks sturdy! If it's representative of his work, then a "battle" version with less decoration could certainly be in the cards... I don't know yet how much Gotscha's helm would cost, but if my suspicions are correct, he may price me out of any possibility of commisioning him. In such a case, I would definitely want to talk to Russel and any other talented helm makers I can find. I really appreciate your opinion. Do you like your helm?

Hugh:
Thanks for the welcome! The price range seems very reasonable to me. Although I would want something which is as much a reproduction of the specific helm from the culture and the era as I can find, it's good to have a contact to discuss options to have a custom helm made. The work looks very clean so I feel confident in my assumption that he could produce something that would suit my needs. As with Russel, mentioned above by Johan, I'll contact him and ask about a custom piece. It sounds to me like you haven't decided to go ahead with a commision to have him make you one of these... do you have any reservations about it?

All told, these are exactly the kinds of responses which I was hoping to receive from the folks on these forums. I *greatly* appreciate your input and I'll be looking into each of these suggestions.

BTW, I'm going to brave the attachment process, please forgive me if I mess it up somehow. The first image is of a genuine piece from the period and represetative of what I was hoping to have made.
The second one is from this site: ( http://www.podol.de/html/helme.html ), of a helm they make. It's less decorated and simpler in construction than I would prefer, it's also a four-banded version, has a longer nasal guard than I would prefer and the panels drop all the way down to the height of the brow band, but I think they use bronze for the inner panels, which is nice to see. Since I've been doing so much sifting through the web of late, I cannot now recall where I got the link; it may have been from myArmoury! FWIW.

Thanks again for your kindness.

Aaron



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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 10:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heh... I *knew* there would be a problem with my attachments.
The images are in reversed order. Not that you wouldn't have gotten that Happy I just wanted to apologize and include the correction.

Aaron
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 11:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron,

Try Tim Noyes of Heron Armoury, I would also consider Thorkel as has already been mentioned.

If you don't get anywhere with your commision, message me and I may be able to help further.

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron, at the moment, I am still putting together the money to pay Patrick Barta the 2200 euros for which I contracted for his #118 Abingdon sword with extras. As the dollar keeps dropping against the euro, the price keeps rising and, when the price is 2200 euros, the changes in exchange rates become significant for an individual. And that is assuming that Patrick holds to the price that he quoted me a year ago since he has raised his prices significantly since.

http://www.templ.net/english/weapons-antiquit...#118-sword

Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron,

these sites may be of interest to you, www.archaeologie.de for more images of migration period helms and also check out www.ulfhednar.org for high end reproductions worn by the members.

Best Dave
who is as he types making a new shield for the new season, waiting for glue adhering leather to its face to dry

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
Joined: 24 May 2006
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Fri 18 Jan, 2008 3:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David and Hugh, thanks to you both for your interest in helping me with this.
What a fine statement this is about the character of this site for a newly arrived poster. Huzzah!

I have emails out to a couple people already. I have yet to send one to Thorkel and having just found out about the Ulfhednar group, they haven't received one yet either... but both will get them very soon Happy

Hugh:
Those swords are beautiful; there is astonishing detail in the metalwork. You're not alone in hope that the good old Buck recovers some of its value. Most of the armourers who seem to work with my subject interest tend to be in Europe, so my dollar goes as far as yours.

David:
I visited Ulfhednar just now and their equipment is exactly the kind which I've been trying to describe. There is no link which I have been able to find to a 'shop' on their site, but they have email; so I'll shoot them a request for some information on where they get (or whether they make) their helms. Seeing them all geared up and mounted is very inspiring. It must be fantastic to be out on the mountain sides on a bracing morning watching the horses fidget and hearing all the gear clink... Thanks for the link. As for Archaeologie.de, I found that one myself also just yesterday evening. I wish my German were in better shape. The Langobard helms are amazing; so distinctive. I can feel a potentially very expensive obsession tugging at my tails...
Oh and I also visited Heron Armoury, who will also be receiving a mail shortly with a request for information about the helm.

I should probably just set up a template email for these requests...


Thanks again for your gracious and courteous comments.


Aaron
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

Posts: 490

PostPosted: Sat 19 Jan, 2008 3:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron,

Thanks for your comments, although there is no 'shop' on their site, Arian of Ulfhednar will be able to point you in the right direction for what you want.

All the best

Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 259

PostPosted: Sun 20 Jan, 2008 6:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott wrote:

Johan:
This looks like a six-banded version of the helm and for that reason alone I would be very interested in talking to Russel. Thank you very much for this information. Although the one in the image reminds me more of a Norse or Viking application, it looks to be made very well and definitely looks sturdy! If it's representative of his work, then a "battle" version with less decoration could certainly be in the cards... I don't know yet how much Gotscha's helm would cost, but if my suspicions are correct, he may price me out of any possibility of commisioning him. In such a case, I would definitely want to talk to Russel and any other talented helm makers I can find. I really appreciate your opinion. Do you like your helm?


The helm does look a bit viking-ish, because I wanted it to go along with my viking kit(which has been laid aside for the moment to concentrate on other things). Russ made a six-panel spangenhelm for another customer, and when I saw it in the shop I voiced interest in something similar, mostly because I found it to look a bit more interesting than the standard four-panel spangen Happy.

The helm is definately representative of Russels work, although he is easily able to make far more elaborate stuff! He does sell quite a lot of "standard" spangenhelms and kettlehats to Scandinavian reenactors, but there is no great demand for the more fancy and pricier stuff. His website has not been updated in some time though, so a lot of the stuff he has made in the meantime is not shown.

I definately like the helm. It has nice lines, it is very sturdy while having an acceptable weight. I don't often use it for housecarl(with headshots allowed) though, because there is not a lot of room for padding. I prefer my kettlehat for that type of fighting(also made by Russ).

Johan Schubert Moen
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2008 12:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron:

I apologize for responding to you here, but the PM function seems to be out of order and I don't want you to think I'm ignoring you. Hopefully, your preferences are set on automatic notification of new responses to your thread.

Is this the armour you asked me about? It's not mine. It's from Best Armour. BA stuff looks great and has a good reputation. The collapsing dollar hurts, but this work still seems like a bargain to me compared to custom, which is the only other way you'd get some of these designs.

Here's a link:
http://www.bestarmour.com/



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heh... I'm sorry to have caused you to go so far out of your way to help answer a question for me Sean. Very kind of you.

That's not the image I found today although I do know about BA and am already in talks with them about a pair of mitten gauntlets. They're ~very~ slow to respond to mails Happy, but I figure it's worth the wait. From what I can tell, their work seems top-notch. I have also asked them about their Sallets and in the thread where I found your photo, there was one poster who said that the wait could possibly extend to two years for a helm from them. That was a little disconcerting. I will find out when this fellow Milan Marek gets around to writng back to me.

So the image I was referring to is the one below.

Do you happen to recognise the armour and helm here? I love the raw look to it. I'd be very interested in finding out who the armourer was. I can see the stylized "crowned M" on the front, does that help at all? If you can recall anything about this, I would be in your debt.

Although, I'm already in your debt for your response.
Thanks...

Aaron



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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Feb, 2008 11:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron,

The helmet, breastplate and shoulders are unidentified marks. The backplate is german, the bevor is italian, missaglia family from Milan, though the info at the RA seems to indicate it was probably farmed out work as it has three marks on it one possibly being of the Negroli family. Attached is a full picture of the harness. The breast, back, bevor and helmet were from Churburg the arms seperate from another collection.

Enjoy and welcome to myArmoury.

RPM



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Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott




Location: Edmonds, Wa
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Feb, 2008 3:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much Randall!
I am greatly enjoying the hospitality of the members here.
I have been consistently and pleasantly surprised by the attentiveness and helpfulness of posters on these forums.

From your description, should I assume then that these are not replicas at all, but genuine historical pieces?

14th, 15th and early 16th Century era armour has always been of particular interest to me. Although I started this thread as a way to find armourers to craft a Spangenhelm for me, that's more for posterity than an expression of personal interest (becoming that way the more I read about the Migration period though Happy); the later Hundred Years War is for me, the quintessential Medieval period in terms of armour and arms. The Sallet being the most distinctive of all armour pieces... that's just my opinion of course. So I have been harbouring this obsession to put together a whole suit from that era for quite a few years now. These days I find myself financially capable of doing just that (albeit slowly). So as much as this subset of the thread doesn't concern the title, I really appreciate the input on it.
Have you heard what people have said about pieces from BestArmour? I gather one should be careful to give them a head size which is larger than one's own dimensions so that padding can be fitted... I don't know much more about them than this.

Thanks again...

Aaron
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Feb, 2008 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron O'Bryan-Herriott wrote:


From your description, should I assume then that these are not replicas at all, but genuine historical pieces?


Yep. Royal Armouries, Leeds. I think James Barker made the photo I posted, but I'm not positive about that.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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