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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 11:03 am    Post subject: Great helmets in battle, 15th century         Reply with quote

Great helmets were apparently delegated to tournament use by the late 14th century. Yet I just found out that Henry V wore one at Agincourt. The question is, was this a unique case, or were great helmets still occasionally used in battle in the 15th century?
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Bartek Strojek




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 11:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, how do we know that Henry wore one to battle in the first place?

If he did indeed, it would be interesting case.

However, if it was some contemporary source, then I wouldn't be surprised if 'great' was just description of quality, imposing helmet of the king.
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Scott Woodruff





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 1:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a few depictions of Frog-mouth great helms being used in battle in the 15th and 16th centuries. For the 16th, there is Olaus Magnus "History of the Nordic Peoples." http://www.avrosys.nu/prints/olausmagnus/100507.jpg One of the 15th C Swiss chronicles shows a frog-mouth in a battle scene and I am sure that I remember seeing them in a few other pices of 15th century art as well. I'll try to find the pics and post links if I have time.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's hard to tell from some period illustrations whether they show a frog-mouthed great helm or a frog-mouthed great bascinet like the one below. So I'd be careful with the art unless it's really clear.


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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
Joined: 11 Apr 2012

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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How does a great helm frogmouth differ from a frogmouth bascinet?

As for Henry V, the helmet he used at Agincourt actually survives. I'll find a photo tomorrow.
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Michael R. Mann




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This sort of helmet is known as Stechhelm or Krötenkopfhelm (sorry, my dictionary strikes.... Worried ).
These helmets where developed in the 15th century and were used till the 16th century only in civil joustings.

Other forms of helmets where surely used also in battles.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Always remember, period illustrations are not photographs! Wink Artists rarely ever went to war, and artists have always tended to draw what they remembered seeing. The closest thing to war they saw were tournaments. Melees were good sources for material, but they would tend to mix things up. The famous painting of the Battle of Orsha shows the front line Poles wearing tonlet harness! I seem to remember seeing some artwork showing a frogmouth being used on foot... WTF?!
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Michael Harley




Location: Melbourne, Australia
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PostPosted: Sat 07 Jul, 2012 8:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Artists rarely ever went to war, and artists have always tended to draw what they remembered seeing. The closest thing to war they saw were tournaments.


A rather sweeping generalisation. Supported by what?

Information is not knowledge, Knowledge is not wisdom, Wisdom is not truth - Frank Zappa
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 08 Jul, 2012 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peteris R. wrote:
How does a great helm frogmouth differ from a frogmouth bascinet?

As for Henry V, the helmet he used at Agincourt actually survives. I'll find a photo tomorrow.


A frogmouth great bascinet has moving parts, like the visor and maybe the bevor. A great helm does not.

Yes, a helm attributed to Henry V survives. We picture it in our article on him on our Features page. However, it is of a style that predates his death somewhat (15 years or so), and is reinforced on the left side like a tilting/jousting helm would be. It also decent seem to have any remains and not many attachment points for a crown.

The story from Agincourt is that the Duke of Alencon cut a flueret off the crown on the helm. Since there dont' seem to be indicatons of a crown on this helm, and it is of a style relegated to the joust at that point in time, the thought among recent scholars is that it was not a battle helm and was therefore not the one from Agincourt.

An article on Westminster Abbey's website states:

Quote:
The domed helm, about sixteen inches high, is a tilting helm so would not have been worn in battle.


Henry's helm:


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