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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Jan, 2011 7:10 pm    Post subject: A really stupid question         Reply with quote

Hello,

This is going to sound like a REALLY stupid question.

Earlier tonight I was looking through pictures of armour and noticed that a lot of the period illustrations depict the sallet being worn tilted back. Sometimes the visor looks lifted and sometimes it looks like it is down.

After seeing this I tried adjusting my helmet so I could wear it a little bit lower and tilted back. This seemed to make the helmet look more natural and just plain better looking (it always looked a little "off" to me).

My question is this: Should the sallet be worn with the tail and vision slit level, or should it be worn a little lower and tilted back so the tail is closer to the shoulders? Or does it matter?

Told you it would sound stupid. Worried

Two things that were better about the helmet being tilted, was that I could see a little bit lower on both sides of the visor. And that when viewed from the front the visor looked like it angled down on both sides, giving it kind of a "sad" look, which looked very awesome. Cool

I just hand to ask this basic and stupid question, otherwise it would bug me every time I put my helmet on.

Thanks in advance for replying. Happy

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2011 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's an example of what I mean.


 Attachment: 94.88 KB
agincourt.jpg
Some of the knights and the footsoldiers on the right.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not a stupid question at all. It's quite common in artwork of the period, and makes good sense. If the sallet is shallow enough and not closely fit to the head, then it could be tipped back for better vision and airflow as the situation allows.

A very deep sallet with a flat lower edge (like the GDFB visored sallets) is restricted by the shoulders/armour, so would be less convenient to tip. Tipping doesn't work with mine when the visor is down for example, but does if the visor is raised slightly. A curved lower edge makes tipping easier--think of the later "black" sallets. The boat shape allows the sallet to ride farther back on the head without interference from armour and also clears the face, leaving what for practical purposes is a peak that would serve as well as the later articulated peaks of burgonets. It may even be that the tendency to tip shallow sallets is what led to the creation of the peak on close-fit helmets. Speculation, of course.

-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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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 13 Jan, 2011 3:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Robert,

Being the schallern man I am, this question has interested me also!

Notwithstanding Sean's observations above, my general understanding is that you generally don't want a helmet to move around too much - just as with any other kind of protective helmet, such as a motorbike helmet, a large part of its protective functionality comes from it remaining in place on your head under impact.

My custom-made 'German style' sallet doesn't move too much, and nor do I want it to. Good vision with the visor down is a function of good design, so that the occularium is not only at the right height, but also as close in to the eyes / front of the face as possible, so that there is a better field of vision. Better vision and airflow is then a matter of having the visor up.

This kind of fitting is nearly impossible to achieve with an off-the-shelf sallet, and unless your head amazingly matches their pattern, you'll only get it from a custom helm ... it's a bit like shoe makers using different-shaped 'lasts' - even in the right size, some shoes will just fit poorly, so you need to try different brands to find one made on a last that is closer to the general shape of your foot. Now, when you apply that helmets, buying a standard helmet is like only having a shoe made from the one last - but also not having a choice of sizes! When you figure that the proper sizing of the occularium is possibly a finer measurement to get right than some measurements on shoes, you start to see why non-custom helmets are such a hit-and-miss proposition.

To get a better idea of this, grab a specification / measurement sheet from a good custom helm maker, and check out the large number of measurements they'll ask you to provide - I didn't quite understand the importance of custom helms until I saw this. (One such measurements sheet is from Stanislav Prosek, a fantastic armourer.)

Personally, I've found that this closeness of the occularium makes a massive amount of difference: I have another (also well made, also custom, although not to my exact measurements) sallet where the occularium is at the right height, but juuust a little further out from my face, and my vision is far more limited.

In both cases, however, spending an hour at a time doing household and yard chores wearing the helmet with the visor down is an incredibly useful training experience. Like anything new, it becomes a lot easier with practice.

As for the height/depth of the sallet, do a search for the thread here on Ben van Koert's new sallet - you'll find some discussion by Sean, I, and others, and some more historical images like the one above. This is mostly in relation to the sallet with a bevor, but is still relevant.

On the other hand, I've heard it suggested (either here or on The Armour Archive) that the eye slits in historical examples of 'black' sallets don't look like they'd really be effective / are in the wrong place, and that the few contemporary illustrations we have of them (the three pieces by Durer being the main ones) always show them as tilted back for this reason. I forget where I saw the post now, but one person (possibly Bob Reed?) proposed that the visor on black sallets was fairly useless and therfore more effectively for show ... I'm not sure of the truth of this - just repeating it to add it into the mix.

In my case, I have a fairly accurate recreation of the de Casson black sallet, and I'm inclined to agree: the angle of the front part of the sallet and visor, while looking very 'cool', is not particularly practical. However, with the visor partially open, and cocked jauntily back on the head ... well, I feel very much like I've stepped out of a Durer image Happy ... all in all, the form, functionality, fit, and aesthetics of both kinds of sallets have some very interesting differences.

Hope this is of some help, and I'll be interesed to see what others have to say!

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 9:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My understanding is that the Sallets with oddly-placed occulari are intended for mounted use, and that the occulari only line up when you are in a "crouched" position during the charge. Otherwise, the sallet is pushed back.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 10:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That was my understanding as well, Scott, especially since the "black sallet" appears to have been commonly associate with light cavalry and not worn with a bevor. Still leaves the question of why the helmet would need to be tipped for any reason since it has an articulated visor. In any case, I remain highly skeptical of the idea that the visor of some sallets was essentially decorative or vestigial.


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Mountedcalvary2.jpg


-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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Mark T




PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 2:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
In any case, I remain highly skeptical of the idea that the visor of some sallets was essentially decorative or vestigial.


Sean and Scott, that restores my faith ... if the person who indeed posted that assessment was Bob Reed (and I can't now find where I read it), then this could have just been a part of his wider dislike for black sallets: in one thread, his summation of them was 'craptastic' ... Big Grin

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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Fri 14 Jan, 2011 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank's for all the reply's and answering my question. Happy

And mark thank's for reminding me of Ben Van Koert's topic, I'll be sure to check that out again and read the whole thing.

Sean Flynt wrote:
That was my understanding as well, Scott, especially since the "black sallet" appears to have been commonly associate with light cavalry and not worn with a bevor. Still leaves the question of why the helmet would need to be tipped for any reason since it has an articulated visor.


I don't know about period or higher end sallets, but by GDFB sallet is fairly front-heavy and when tilted back seems to redistribute the weight in a more comfortable way. Period and custom helmets are probably better made than mine, but I remember reading somewhere on this site the idea that period helms would have been/are thicker in the front than the back to give more protection to the area most likely to be hit. So the weight distribution idea might still be reasonable.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Based on my Mercenary Tailor's Sallets that I have ( Much more comfortable as they are not top heavy like the GDFB one I own ) I have to say that tilting the helm back is a very viable alternative to lifting the visor.

There are many German Sallets without a movable visor that have the same dimensions as the movable versions: By this I mean that with the visor down the bottom edge of the visor is about at the same height as to Sallets with no movable visor but with eye slots at the same relative position.

With the movable visor one as the option of opening the visor or tilting back the Sallet, obviously with the fixed no visor versions this is not an option.

The GDFB Sallets that are either Italian or for export design the bottom edge of the visor is so low or close to the jaw line that one can't tilt it enough to see below the visor in the down position so raising the visor is the only way to get better ventilation or situational awareness.

Now apart from the movable or fixed issue I find that with my MT Sallets if I tilt them back I can see under the bottom rim of the locked down visor but if I had to suddenly protect my face I could tilt my head down and mostly fully protect my face. The important point though is that I can then look through the ocular/eye slot and still see what is happening in front of me.

Keeping one's head tilted forward is just a quick motion and one wouldn't leave one's head tilted forward for an extended amount of time so if one keep the Sallet normally " strait " instead of tilted one gets more vision by keeping the visor open or has more protection by keeping the visor down but one can't instantly protect one's face as quickly if one has the visor up. Wink Laughing Out Loud

So I guess a lot would depend on one's preference on how one would wear a Sallet with a visor, on a not too deep Sallet, and a Sallet with a visor gives you more choices of wearing style than one without a visor.

I think this covers all the options I can imagine. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud Cool

http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=58
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...cts_id=133

Oh, as mentioned in another Topic Allan's site pics are really old and don't show is work to advantage as they look much better in " person ".

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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank's for your observations Jean, it's good to know not all helm's are as top heavy as mine. Happy
"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 3:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Hinds wrote:
Thank's for your observations Jean, it's good to know not all helm's are as top heavy as mine. Happy


The MT Sallets sit with the centre of gravity feeling as being about at ear level or just above while most helms feel as if the whole weight of the helm it sitting on top of the head.

Even my Spangenhelm ( Also MT made ) and my Bascinet by Valentine Armouries feel somewhat top heavy but the GDFB is the worse because being 14 gauge it not only sits high on the head ( Much more space between the top of the head and the inside top of the helm ).

A Cervelière is the only helms that feels even less top heavy and my Eye Slot Chapel de Fer by Valentine Armoury is about the same as the MT Sallets.

I have worn the Mercenary Tailor's Articulated head Sallet for many hours at one time without feeling neck strain and if I really had to fight in armour it would be my first choice with the fixed neck version just about the same.

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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yea the Merc Tailor stuff seem's to be really well made. Everyone who has some is always complimenting it's quality.

After I got my GDFB helm I finally realized why everyone was always telling me "Buying cheap mean's buying twice", I'm probably going to get a different sallet sometime in the future, so what they said was right. I just needed a lesson to drive it home, but I'm just stubborn that way I guess. Razz But still the GDFB sallet let me have a helmet option that was under $400 that I could use with my footman kit so it wasn't all bad.

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 4:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My GDFB sallet was about one pound overweight. Reshaping the visor helped, but I'll be adding back some of that weight in rivets for a proper lining.
-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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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Hinds wrote:
Yea the Merc Tailor stuff seem's to be really well made. Everyone who has some is always complimenting it's quality.

After I got my GDFB helm I finally realized why everyone was always telling me "Buying cheap mean's buying twice", I'm probably going to get a different sallet sometime in the future, so what they said was right. I just needed a lesson to drive it home, but I'm just stubborn that way I guess. Razz But still the GDFB sallet let me have a helmet option that was under $400 that I could use with my footman kit so it wasn't all bad.


I actually like my GDFB Sallet ..... looking at it mostly rather than wearing it. Wink Razz Laughing Out Loud

Since they are made of 14 gauge steel it makes them very heavy, if they where 16 gauge or period authentic of variable thickness they would be lighter and the suspension system used in the MT Sallets are much more comfortable also.

So the GDFB helms are generally good looking but not comfortable for long periods of wearing without getting a sore neck. Wink

Well if you want maximum period authenticity you could always look at these:
http://www.flarcheveque.com/# click on English/Products/helms and you can see some high end Sallets at somewhat higher prices. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Robert Hinds




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PostPosted: Sat 15 Jan, 2011 8:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't mind the look of my GDFB helm as much as how it sits on my head. I had to add in some extra "padding" in the form of rolled towels so it wouldn't wobble on my head, and that makes it sit weird. But I do agree they are nice to look at. Happy

And thank's for that link. Some really nice helms and armour there, and high end is an understatement...the raised sallets cost more than all my armour combined! Eek!

"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

"...And he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one..." Luke 22:36
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