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Paul Holwell
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Location: East Yorkshire, England
Joined: 13 Jun 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 8:37 am    Post subject: New Conjectural Anglian helm         Reply with quote

Hi Guys,
here is my latest piece, a conjectural helm for a myArmoury forumite. It is an amalgam of components from various Anglian pieces, with the intention of creating a feasible helm of the type that could have been decorated with the press blech foils found in the Staffordshire hoard. Also the client expressed a keen desire to create a helm that borrowed its structural feel from the Coppergate helm, but wanted to be more in keeping with the earlier pagan Anglian helms like the Wollaston helm.

So essentially, the construction of the bowl of the helm and the cheek plates are taken from the drawings in the Dominic Tweddle book on the Coppergate helm. However, the drawings are not technical blueprints, so some adjustments had to be made to maintain symmetry and to conform to the clients head size requirements. The helm itself is made from 2mm thick steel which was cold forged to shape. The spangen plates, cheek plates and brow and ridge bands were all planished to a fine degree then polished smooth by hand.
Lateral and Longtitudinal bars were also fitted which are borrowed from the Wollaston Helm. these were shaped and rivetted to the helm with hidden rivets.

The decorative elements of the helm were from several same period pieces. Firstly whilst the eyebrows appear to be the coppergate ones, the terminals at the ends were substituted with the wild boar ones from the Sutton Hoo helm eyebrows.
However the shape and finish of the eyebrows are essentially the same as those on the Coppergate.

The Ridge terminal on the coppergate was not stylistically suited to this particular project, so the client chose a piece typical of crest terminals of the period, ie, Spatulate, Zoomorphic, with, in this case cabochon eyes. As the client did not want to take one directly from, for example a Vendel type helm, a perfect piece was to be found on the grip decoration on the reverse of the Sutton Hoo shield.

Both the eyebrows and the crest terminal were not cast, but were actually carved 'in the metal'. The decoration on the crest terminal was also hand stamped.

For the press blech foils adorning the brow band, the 'processing warriors' motif from the Staffordshire hoard was chosen, The dies for which, were also hand carved not cast. Also, conforming to the clients request, 'mirror' image press blech foils were made so the warriors on each side of the helm processed towards the front of the helm.
The press blech motifs are not to scale with the originals, however it was decided by the client intentionally that this was acceptable and echoed the sentiment of the originals.

Finally, to top the helm off, and continuing the wild boar theme, it was decided to borrow the Boar crest from the Benty Grange helm to complete the Overall look of the helm. Also to put it squarely in the context of the Wollaston helm, but to be of a higher status to some degree.
The Boar itself is not identical to the Benty Grange but is stylistically influenced by it for the most part. The main differences being the lack of Gold haunches on this version. the 'gold' dots around the sides of the boar are inlaid brass rod (to keep the cost down), I used boar bristles to do the crest along its back. The tusks are Deer antler and the Eyes are Cabochons set in filigree surrounds. The Boar has been heat blued to set it apart from the helm and sits astride the brow ridge. The Boar, was again, carved in one piece from a solid billet of steel and polished to a high finish

A spider type leather suspension has been fitted internally and a black maille aventail was fitted which is alternately rivetted and solid links.


I hope you like it. it is my second ever helm and this was the first time I have attempted to do Press Blech.
I have hear feed back from the client, who I can name as Dave Huggins, he is very happy with the result, and it seems I have exceeded his expectations which is all one can ask for. Dave will be posting pics himself on the Vendel Madness thread later. My own Thanks to Dave for his help and inspiration and to fellow forumite and Daves Colleague Bruce who also provided insight and acted as Daves Liaison in his absence.

Best,
Paul



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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 8:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding work Paul.

I'm off to sit down in the corner with these photos and drool to myself. Can't wait to see it in the flesh.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 12:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is sensational! What a work of art. This might be the finest helm of this type that I have ever seen! Outstanding! The boar is so nicely done, I just love it! Thanks for showing the pictures.
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Wilhelm S.





Joined: 09 Jun 2011

Posts: 47

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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

WOW! Thats all I can muster at this point. Absolutely gorgeous.
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Peter Johnsson
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Location: Storvreta, Sweden
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Fantastic work!

A great achievement. A beautiful homage.
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Viktor Abrahamson




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Aug 2008
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes it is absolutely stunning!
How did you manage to get that black shiny finish on the helmet?

/Viktor
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Jeremy V. Krause




Location: Buffalo, NY.
Joined: 20 Oct 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, this is a very handsome helmet.

Is there evidence for the blackening?
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Viktor Abrahamson wrote:
Yes it is absolutely stunning!
How did you manage to get that black shiny finish on the helmet?

/Viktor


Yes it would be interesting to know this as it looks like a very very deep bluing that is almost jet black.

As others have said very very attractive and a great piece of art work. Big Grin Cool

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Andy Ternay




Location: Dallas
Joined: 21 Feb 2009
Reading list: 10 books

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PostPosted: Tue 29 May, 2012 6:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That helm took my breath away. It was enough to lure me in from lurking to post! Amazing work!
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David Huggins




Location: UK
Joined: 25 Jul 2007

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 12:24 am    Post subject: Anglian helm         Reply with quote

Paul deserves every praise he has recieved here as I am not an easy task master as he knows. The brief was very tight with the overall design and its constituent componants my own design, and our mutual friend Bruce photoshoped a mock up alongside me to give an impression with what we were aiming for.

I had every faith that Paul was up to the task knowing his own work ethic was consumerate with my high expectations and it was a pleasure to work directly with him in an intimate fashion on the project which was afforded by the fact that Paul only lives a ten minute walk from my own home and when I was away from home that Bruce was also there to offer further advice as he also knows what a pain in the butt I can be!

Given that this helm was only Paul's second helmet, the project called upon him to further explore and develop his latent skills, and I know that this has given him the greater satisfaction. I doff my cap to him and look forward to seeing his further work.

best
Dave

and he who stands and sheds blood with us, shall be as a brother.
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Jeff A. Arbogast





Joined: 16 Oct 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow that is really beautiful work. I like the design around the bottom section of the helm. Almost trippy. Very impressive craftsmanship indeed.
A man's nose is his castle-and his finger is a mighty sword that he may wield UNHINDERED!
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Charles Richmond




Location: Casstown Ohio
Joined: 16 May 2011

Posts: 39

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 6:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Art work indeed.

That helm would hold its own against any other works produced past or present, it is truly a beautiful creation.
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Brian K.
Industry Professional



Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Joined: 01 Jan 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Outstanding and incredible attention to detail.
Brian Kunz
www.dbkcustomswords.com
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Johan Gemvik




Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Joined: 10 Nov 2009

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PostPosted: Wed 30 May, 2012 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent! My first impression was wow... yeah... the right stuff.

All this in your second helmet?! It's going to be a real pleasure seeing you evolve as a helmsmith, Paul.
It's going to be a challenge to top it with the next one you make though, but somehow I thínk you still will.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2012 9:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

AH, so this is the helm that came to incorperate the boar- crest that lierelly had e staring at the screen with my mouth hanging open for at LEAST a full minte. (im not even exaggerating either)

that crest alone i could happily buy and mount in my room as a treasure on its own..

not to diss the helm because it is stunning, but while ive seen a fair few coppergate repros ive never seen a boar crest done that well EVER.
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Paul Holwell
Industry Professional



Location: East Yorkshire, England
Joined: 13 Jun 2011

Posts: 24

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PostPosted: Thu 31 May, 2012 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi guys.

What can i say, Thanks for all of your great comments. Makes it all worth the extra effort.
Its great to do such an interesting project as this. I am now going to have a few days off and think about my next proj!

Thanks again,

Paul.
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