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Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 11:15 pm    Post subject: Questions regarding restriction of head movement by helmets         Reply with quote

Hi everyone, I had some questions and I was not able to find an answer to them using the search function. I know some helmets fasten to the torso to protect the neck, which obviously restrict all movement of the head in exchange for dissipating impacts to the head across the entire body. Other styles such as the barbute and sallet look as if they permit free movement of the head. First of all I was wondering how much movement is restricted by the various styles of helmets from 1350-1650. I was also wondering how wrappers and bevors affect this movement. Is there any disadvantage to using a wrapper with an armet, such as restricted head movement? If so, were wrappers considered an integral part of the armet, or were they more of a personal preference? I'm interested in the same questions for bevors.

I was also interested in seeing if anyone had a personal preference or insight into the benefits and disadvantages of securing the helmet to the torso to protect the neck versus allowing unrestricted movement of the head. It seems to me that historically securing the neck was primarily for tournaments for extra safety, whereas in a combat situation free movement of the head was considered more important, but if anyone has another interpretation I want to hear it.
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Scott Hrouda




Location: Minnesota, USA
Joined: 17 Nov 2006
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Posts: 643

PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug, 2011 6:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome Raman A!

The years 1350 to 1650 present a huge frame of time. It could take an entire book to answer your questions, and then probably leave you with only more! Wink It might be best to focus your search a little more.

A jousting helm is the only style of helm (I'm aware of) that attached directly to the breast plate via staples or screws. As it was intended for the tournament only, head mobility was not a concern.

Using the forum search feature might provide some interesting information regarding armets and those who have experience wearing them.

Good Luck!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Michael Curl




Location: Northern California, US
Joined: 06 Jan 2008

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug, 2011 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Question: What is a wrapper?
E Pluribus Unum
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James Millard





Joined: 03 May 2007

Posts: 15

PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug, 2011 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael Curl wrote:
Question: What is a wrapper?


A sort of neck defence associated with the helmet type known as the armet. There's a good picture and explanation here. Aside from protecting the front of your neck, a wrapper also prevents damage to the chin of the armet, which is often where the pivoting side-pieces of the armet are secured.

This topic is pretty close to my heart, as I asked an almost-identical question at the Arms and Armour Forum, here. Happy

I wrote:
While browsing a military art blog, I came across this post (link) which includes a number of illustrations by José Daniel Cabrera Peña. One of them, depicting the 1476 battle of Toro, caught my eye. It features a number of figures wearing full-face bevors in combination with open-faced helmets. Having never worn a bevor before, I have some questions which I'd like to pose to you.

In a number of armours I've seen, the bevors have been laced or otherwise attached to the breastplate. Those in the picture appear to be secured only by straps around the neck, allowing them to move with the wearer's face. This seems to be sensible when wearing a full-face bevor, as your vision would otherwise be limited to that provided directly forward of the very small eyeslits. Is this a feature observed in historical armours? Alternatively, were full-face bevors secured to the breastplate, and simply lowered when greater visibility was desired?

On a related note, to what extent do the "wrapper" bevors attached to some armets restrict movement of the head? Would they be expected to slide under the wearer's pauldrons, or would the wearer simply accept reduced mobility in exchange for greater neck protection?


Aside from armets and sallets, I've also wondered about how restrictive great bascinets would have been.
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Raman A




Location: United States
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 143

PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 5:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow! It's funny how our two questions are almost identical, James. Right now I don't have permission to view that thread but I registered and I should be able to check it out soon.

I'm still hopeful someone who has experience wearing armets, sallets, and great bascinets can answer our questions as to how much they restrict movement.
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