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Jeffrey Hildebrandt
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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jun, 2013 11:55 am    Post subject: Gjermundbu helmet         Reply with quote

I recently had the opportunity to make another Gjermundbu helmet reproduction, this time for Mark Griffin. Griff was looking for something that looked hand-made, but neither rough nor mechanically perfect, so I built the helmet you can see below. We have been discussing what sort of finish we could use to improve the contrast between the silver inlay and steel on the brow, and have come to the conclusion that a natural patina from repeated rusting, light cleaning and stabilizing might be best. There must have been techniques for creating contrast between the iron/steel and silver inlay during the Viking Age, because it was a common decorative technique - but does anyone know of evidence that suggests a particular method?

-Hildebrandt




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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jun, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Have to say I'm really pleased with what Jeff has done, a very nice representation of an oft badly misunderstood and badly copied helmet. It will be good to wear this at work and be able to be a viking with viking helmet, not something from a different era and culture.

The silver inlay was a best guess of course but seemed sensible given other items. If anyone has suggestions to the issue Jeff has raised, do say!

Thanks,

Griff
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
Likes: 2 pages

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jun, 2013 3:39 pm    Post subject: viking helm         Reply with quote

Finally! This helm is done right! Thank you for posting these, I've looked through countless armourers and your the first one I've seen that stays true to the surviving example.

-Reece
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Matthew Harrington




Location: Michigan
Joined: 30 Jul 2012

Posts: 83

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PostPosted: Thu 06 Jun, 2013 10:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Gjermundbu helmet         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hildebrandt wrote:
I recently had the opportunity to make another Gjermundbu helmet reproduction, this time for Mark Griffin. Griff was looking for something that looked hand-made, but neither rough nor mechanically perfect, so I built the helmet you can see below. We have been discussing what sort of finish we could use to improve the contrast between the silver inlay and steel on the brow, and have come to the conclusion that a natural patina from repeated rusting, light cleaning and stabilizing might be best. There must have been techniques for creating contrast between the iron/steel and silver inlay during the Viking Age, because it was a common decorative technique - but does anyone know of evidence that suggests a particular method?

-Hildebrandt


Very nice indeed! Good work as usual, there isn't solid evidence for silver inlay on the Gjermundbu, I think that may have been originally copper or engraved, but that's not to say it never happened, it's clearly evident on the more richer grave finds there was silver inlaying. I mean, what else do you do with the silver you uhh... "borrow" from the Anglo-Saxons. Laughing Out Loud If someone more educated on the subject than myself would like to correct me please do. I like the finish, I recently polished up the one Jeff made for me as well, it now has a gunmetal grey shine to it that I adore. Congrats on the new helmet!!

Here's my Gjermundbu by Jeff, he really does so a superb job:


~See you in Valhalla, brother.~
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Heat colouration of the steel prior to hammering in the inlay? Possibly just heat colouration of the spectacle section prior to assembling the whole helmet? Then you'd have a contrast with the silver inlay and also a contrast with the rest of the helmet.

Or it may just be that the polishing process (sand and lard followed by ash and oil?) achieved a mirror finish on the silver but not the iron, providing a contrast that way?

Lovely, lovely work.

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


Last edited by Matthew Bunker on Fri 07 Jun, 2013 3:23 am; edited 1 time in total
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Reece, Glad you like it, it was my intention to do a decent representation of the helmet after I'd been asked to do some Viking interpretation for the first time and after looking around, wasn't impressed at all. There were very few other armourers who made anything coming close and Jeff was the only person who could a) do it in the approx time i had and b) showed an interest in discussing it and re-appraising what evidence there was.

Mathew, If i haven't mentioned it, the silver is a guess. The incised lines don't have any evidence of inlay I'm aware of but thought there should be something. Copper was a bit low status and silver seemed right. I consider Gold a bit vulgar and doesn't go with my eyes :-). If I'd have realised the issues the silver was going to give us I'd have gone with the copper in hindsight though......
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun, 2013 1:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and if I knew it was going to be this much hassle I'd have got that $80 version off ebay...... ;-)
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Matthew Harrington




Location: Michigan
Joined: 30 Jul 2012

Posts: 83

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PostPosted: Fri 07 Jun, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
Mathew, If i haven't mentioned it, the silver is a guess. The incised lines don't have any evidence of inlay I'm aware of but thought there should be something. Copper was a bit low status and silver seemed right. I consider Gold a bit vulgar and doesn't go with my eyes :-). If I'd have realised the issues the silver was going to give us I'd have gone with the copper in hindsight though......


No, no! By all means it's very very accurate! Just because the only spectacle helm found so far had copper/engravings doesn't mean there weren't others with silver! I would put it as extremely plausible. Gold would have looked gaudy I agree. Happy

~See you in Valhalla, brother.~
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Jonathan Fletcher





Joined: 04 Mar 2004

Posts: 100

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PostPosted: Fri 29 Dec, 2017 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Acid etching? Tannic acid, acetic acid, urine all mentioned in The Sword in Anglo-Saxon England: Its Archaeology and Literature by Hilda Ellis Davidson and could be applied after the helmet has been assembled.
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Gregory T Kallok




Location: Northern Virginia
Joined: 10 Jul 2017

Posts: 34

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PostPosted: Sat 30 Dec, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wonderful looking helmet. I am in the market for starting a commission for one but this is an area i have no idea where to have it made.
Keep your nose in the Wind and your eye on the skyline.
Del Q
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