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Brett H




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 7:05 am    Post subject: Were there tie-back straps on visors on bascinets?         Reply with quote

Hello all -

Does anybody know if it is historically accurate to have leather tie-back straps on the visor of a bascinet? Specifically, leather straps that were attached to the bottom corners of the visor itself that, when the visor was lowered into the down position, the straps were then wrapped around the main body of the helm and tied or buckled at the back. The idea supposedly being to keep the visor locked in the down position, eliminating the chance of the visor flying up during usage/combat?

I have recently purchased a visored bascinet from steel-mastery, and a number of their helms appear to include this feature (that they term "visor back fixation"). Mine has this as well.

If these straps have no historical basis, I'll remove them. I have included a photo of this idea.

Thanks in advance for any insight.

Brett

[/img]



 Attachment: 39.78 KB
helm-with-visor-strap.jpg
Photo of a visored bascinet with visor tie-back straps in the tied position
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My understanding is that this is a SCAism, born out of safety concerns.
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Brett H




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
My understanding is that this is a SCAism, born out of safety concerns.


**************************************************************************************


That's actually precisely part of my suspicion on these straps, that they are possibly a SCAism as you alluded to, due to their tremendous fear of litigation, and have no historical background.

Brett
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 8:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Welcome, Brett. Happy Check out this thread for info: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=10669
Happy

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Brett H




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Welcome, Brett. Happy Check out this thread for info: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=10669



*********************************************************

Thanks Chad! That's a good thread on the problem of keeping the visor from flopping down in your face when it's supposed to be up in the raised position.


Brett
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 8:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brett H wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
My understanding is that this is a SCAism, born out of safety concerns.


**************************************************************************************


That's actually precisely part of my suspicion on these straps, that they are possibly a SCAism as you alluded to, due to their tremendous fear of litigation, and have no historical background.

Brett
I wouldn't call the desire to avoid a shattered jaw, teeth, cheek, or eye "tremendous fear of litigation." Professional warriors with no dependents can take risks in training which don't make sense for amateurs having a bash then going home to their spouses and children. All it takes is one visor popping up at the right time during a friendly fight to produce a life-altering injury (and if you had to check hundreds of strangers' armour, much of it homemade, wouldn't you want the safety requirements to be clear and conservative?)

I've never fought SCA heavy, but from what I hear their safety requirements are almost all based on hard experience. Groups with less fighters, and more ability to control who fights in armour, can make different choices.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The inaccuracy of the strap on that helmet is the least of its problems. Razz
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brett H wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
My understanding is that this is a SCAism, born out of safety concerns.


**************************************************************************************


That's actually precisely part of my suspicion on these straps, that they are possibly a SCAism as you alluded to, due to their tremendous fear of litigation, and have no historical background.

Brett


Though the push button system is very common with surviving armours, I've also seen the strap system on some in museums and armour books, especially on Armets. It's very true that the SCA makes unproportionately high use of it today statistically as a generic solution, but it's not really a modern invention.
For a quick reference example from my modest collection of armour books, on page 25 in weapons & Armour by C Guillot, an italian 15th century armour is presented and the author explains how the visor strap is protected from cuts by the armets neck rondel. The back of the helm isn't shown in the frontal photo presented, but the attachment ends of the straps to the visor are.


The main reason for the strap in the SCA isn't really litigation as it's not required by the rule system specifically, only that the vistor is safely attached so it can't be opened by blows.
The opening button sytem in an easily struck legal target area is simply unsafe for this type of sport. Other types of locking mechanisms, such as keyhole turn rivets or lock pins similar to those on most removable visor hinges are just fine and as legal as any strap in the modern SCA rule system.

A press-button, though very common in survivng historical helms is unsafe for this type of chivalry sport. It gets easily struck by a club type weapon (more easily than with say a blunt sword) so the visor opens during combat and that's a pretty bad idea. You strike the button with a backhand and a repeat blow in about the same spot goes right into an unprotected face. I've seen it happen (fortuneately the opponent was able to lessen or fully stop the blow from connecting) and also demonstrated it safely to fighters who feel like going on the field with the push open button on the side of their armet.
If you want a push button that looks right, you can add a secondary locking system on the inside of the helmet, or a lock pin or hook going throgh it on the outside. Simple as that.
Most prefer the strap thoguh.

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




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 9:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was leafing through my copy of "Henry VIII arms and the man" since I got curoius about the strap thing and came across Henrys silver engraved skirted field armour on pages 170 and onward for about a chapter of the book. The armour is a matched set for man and horse for field use and done in flemish and english style in about 1515.

It's easiest if I just show a photo off the Historic Royal Palaces site.
http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=25




Brett, I realise you were asking about bascinets and not Armets so I'll keep looking for one of those.

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




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
I was leafing through my copy of "Henry VIII arms and the man" since I got curoius about the strap thing and came across Henrys silver engraved skirted field armour on pages 170 and onward for about a chapter of the book. The armour is a matched set for man and horse for field use and done in flemish and english style in about 1515.

It's easiest if I just show a photo off the Historic Royal Palaces site.
http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=25




Brett, I realise you were asking about bascinets and not Armets so I'll keep looking for one of those.


************************

Johan -

Even though that is an Armet, it is still fascinating to see that, historically, these straps were apparently used eventually by the early 16th century (at least on the separate set of jousting armour). I wonder if they were also used prior to this time frame, such as the 13th or 14th centuries. Also, the article on the HRP site says that "Henry forgot to fasten his visor prior to a joust"...

So another question that begs to be asked is whether such a strap was solely used on tournament jousting armour (which as we know was an entirely different sort of armour, with many additions or modifications over battlefield armour), or would it also have been used on your battlefield armour. I've read many articles that indicate that knights would commonly remove their visor for combat on foot. Does that imply that they would have had the visor down and (if equipped with straps) strapped in place for a mounted charge (to theoretically fend off arrows in the face from enemy archers), then when dismounted (either by design or by forceful dismounting) that they would then, there in the midst of battle, unpin and remove their visor? (leaving the visor to then be tossed on the ground, to be trampled or lost)?

Thanks for the great info Johan. More research/investigation lies ahead :-)


Brett
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Brett H




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
The inaccuracy of the strap on that helmet is the least of its problems. Razz



******************************************

Kel -

If you don't mind, can you point out what the other apparently glaring problems with the helm are? I'm always looking to learn more.

Thanks,

Brett
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Brett H




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
Brett H wrote:
T. Arndt wrote:
My understanding is that this is a SCAism, born out of safety concerns.


**************************************************************************************


That's actually precisely part of my suspicion on these straps, that they are possibly a SCAism as you alluded to, due to their tremendous fear of litigation, and have no historical background.

Brett


Though the push button system is very common with surviving armours, I've also seen the strap system on some in museums and armour books, especially on Armets. It's very true that the SCA makes unproportionately high use of it today statistically as a generic solution, but it's not really a modern invention.
For a quick reference example from my modest collection of armour books, on page 25 in weapons & Armour by C Guillot, an italian 15th century armour is presented and the author explains how the visor strap is protected from cuts by the armets neck rondel. The back of the helm isn't shown in the frontal photo presented, but the attachment ends of the straps to the visor are.


The main reason for the strap in the SCA isn't really litigation as it's not required by the rule system specifically, only that the vistor is safely attached so it can't be opened by blows.
The opening button sytem in an easily struck legal target area is simply unsafe for this type of sport. Other types of locking mechanisms, such as keyhole turn rivets or lock pins similar to those on most removable visor hinges are just fine and as legal as any strap in the modern SCA rule system.

A press-button, though very common in survivng historical helms is unsafe for this type of chivalry sport. It gets easily struck by a club type weapon (more easily than with say a blunt sword) so the visor opens during combat and that's a pretty bad idea. You strike the button with a backhand and a repeat blow in about the same spot goes right into an unprotected face. I've seen it happen (fortuneately the opponent was able to lessen or fully stop the blow from connecting) and also demonstrated it safely to fighters who feel like going on the field with the push open button on the side of their armet.
If you want a push button that looks right, you can add a secondary locking system on the inside of the helmet, or a lock pin or hook going throgh it on the outside. Simple as that.
Most prefer the strap thoguh.



********************************************************************

Johan -

I've been looking for "weapons & Armour by C Guillot" since you mentioned it in your post, but have come up completely dry on web searches. I'd like to check it out. Do you have any additional info on that book, such as its ISBN number off the back maybe?

Brett
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 10:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan Gemvik wrote:
I was leafing through my copy of "Henry VIII arms and the man" since I got curoius about the strap thing and came across Henrys silver engraved skirted field armour on pages 170 and onward for about a chapter of the book. The armour is a matched set for man and horse for field use and done in flemish and english style in about 1515.

It's easiest if I just show a photo off the Historic Royal Palaces site.
http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=25

Brett, I realise you were asking about bascinets and not Armets so I'll keep looking for one of those.


This is pretty much completely unrelated. The strap isn't attached to the visor at all. If it's holding anything down that's attached to the helm, it's the bevor/chin plate. I actually believe this strap holds the (tilting?) wrapper for the helm. If that's the case, then it's holding a separate compenent to the helm, not the visor. In any case, the strap isn't attached to the visor.

Happy

ChadA

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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 19 Aug, 2012 12:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brett H wrote:
Kel Rekuta wrote:
The inaccuracy of the strap on that helmet is the least of its problems. Razz



******************************************

Kel -

If you don't mind, can you point out what the other apparently glaring problems with the helm are? I'm always looking to learn more.

Thanks,

Brett


The visor is flat in profile. Not a good thing to have in front of one's nose unless the overall helmet is huge.
Strange little brass plate riveted on the left side of the visor.
Overly wide occularia.
Bizarre decorative band around the middle of the bascinet shell.
Brass edging appropriate to a hunskull bascinet on a vaguely early to mid 14thC helmet

Do a search for sugarloaf bascinet or helmet on this forum or on Armour Archive. Or look at early to mid 14thC illuminations of armoured men. Nothing like this shape of visor, bascinet or decoration will you find.

I hope you didn't buy this thing with the intent of its use in rebated steel combat.
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Brett H




Location: Wisconsin
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 7:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
Johan Gemvik wrote:
I was leafing through my copy of "Henry VIII arms and the man" since I got curoius about the strap thing and came across Henrys silver engraved skirted field armour on pages 170 and onward for about a chapter of the book. The armour is a matched set for man and horse for field use and done in flemish and english style in about 1515.

It's easiest if I just show a photo off the Historic Royal Palaces site.
http://www.hrp.org.uk/MediaPlayer/ViewPlaylist.aspx?PlaylistId=25

Brett, I realise you were asking about bascinets and not Armets so I'll keep looking for one of those.


This is pretty much completely unrelated. The strap isn't attached to the visor at all. If it's holding anything down that's attached to the helm, it's the bevor/chin plate. I actually believe this strap holds the (tilting?) wrapper for the helm. If that's the case, then it's holding a separate compenent to the helm, not the visor. In any case, the strap isn't attached to the visor.



******************************************

Chad -

You're right. That strap looks to be holding the bevor. The visor above the bevor appears to be unsecured.

Brett
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Brett H




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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Brett H wrote:
Kel Rekuta wrote:
The inaccuracy of the strap on that helmet is the least of its problems. Razz



******************************************

Kel -

If you don't mind, can you point out what the other apparently glaring problems with the helm are? I'm always looking to learn more.

Thanks,

Brett


The visor is flat in profile. Not a good thing to have in front of one's nose unless the overall helmet is huge.
Strange little brass plate riveted on the left side of the visor.
Overly wide occularia.
Bizarre decorative band around the middle of the bascinet shell.
Brass edging appropriate to a hunskull bascinet on a vaguely early to mid 14thC helmet

Do a search for sugarloaf bascinet or helmet on this forum or on Armour Archive. Or look at early to mid 14thC illuminations of armoured men. Nothing like this shape of visor, bascinet or decoration will you find.

I hope you didn't buy this thing with the intent of its use in rebated steel combat.


******************************************************************

Kel -

Actually, this photo is the stock photo of that particular helm from the maker's website. On mine, there's no brass decorative piece on the left side of the visor, but the brass band around the shell and edging are there. I did some looking into the hunskull bascinet and I see what you mean by the edging being appropriate to that helm style. The occularia could be narrower as well.

Fortunately, this helm is really just for wandering around in garb at Ren festivals, and not for combat. I appreciate your critique on this one. It'll help me have an accurate battle helm made in the future.

Brett




[/img]



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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 20 Aug, 2012 11:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad is correct. The armet strap is for the wrapper, and unrelated to visor. The visor appears to be secured by a spring pin near the right pivot.
-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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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 2:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh well, at least it was a strap in the right place...

I'll look more into this but I haven't found any historical artifacts or art depicting bascinets so far with a strap like that, some have no securing system and some have spring buttons. Hooks to secure pins is common for elbow jousting reinforcements, chest plates and such, I'd guess borrowing it from there and placing it on a bascinet would be decently authentic, at least it was a system used with rugged armour.

On the other hand I'd written off the very modern loooking grill visors as a SCAdianism until I came across them in both art and in museums. Not to mention 16th century "viking style" jousting helmets. It wouldn't surprise me if the vistor strap was out there too. But common back in the day and easily proven? Hardly. That means if you're a bascinet purist you don't really want one.


Anyway, Sean made a really good point earlier about why the straps are there today, both in and outside the SCA. It's a safety feature for Bascinets that's at least made from historically plausible materials.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FWIW, the scarves one often sees worn around German sallets of the late 15th c. might have served to help secure the visor.
-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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