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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject: Skull cap???         Reply with quote

Hey guys. Here's a question about Skull caps (AKA cervellieres), and early bascinets. I was looking through manuscripts and miniatures dating between 1250 and 1350, and I got to wondering. How did people keep skull caps and early bascinets from falling off their heads? I know that skull caps could be worn either above or beneath a mail coif, but Im referring specifically to helms worn over mail. In the Maciojowski bible for example skull caps worn beneath a coif are shown with chin straps, while those worn above do not seem to have any form of strap holding it to the head. Why is this? Were they laced to the coif with a leather thong? Have any such helms survived that might clear things up? Any help would be most appreciated.

Jason
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Edward Lee




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PostPosted: Mon 26 May, 2014 10:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could it be that these skull caps were not worn over a coif but had coif attached to it like aventail?
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Stuart Quayle




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 1:03 am    Post subject: Skull Cap helmets.         Reply with quote

That is a theory I have read somewhere about skull-cap bascinets.

For example, the row of latten rivets seen around the base of Sir John d'Abernoun's fluted bascinet skull-cap where thought to be there to rivet an aventail to the lower edge of the helmet, rather than attach an inner lining.

The aventail would anchor the short bascinet in place somewhat.
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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 4:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edward Lee wrote:
Could it be that these skull caps were not worn over a coif but had coif attached to it like aventail?


This happened, but it was a later development, sometime in the 14th century. For this to work, the mail aventail has to be separate from the hauberk, otherwise you could not open up the mail to let your head through. In many cases we can see that men wore hauberks with intergrated coifs, and skull caps on top. So the skull cap must have been put on after the coif, but how was it held in place?

Jason
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not all bascinets were worn with an aventail, as shown in art and inventories. Chin straps or ties are rarely illustrated with any type of helmet, including kettle hats, in most manuscripts, but that doesn't mean they weren't used as much as it indicates the illustrators didn't take the time to show such small details in images which were already quite small.

Here's an example after your period of study.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4156/7869/

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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 11:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4673/7983/


Mart is correct Jason. Artists often left out details such as chin straps. Take a look at the above link. It shows a kettle hat hanging by it's chin strap, yet all the depictions of men wearing these helms in the manuscript do not show any.

Éirinn go Brách
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 3:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another example, immediately to the right of the Jew with the hammer on the right of the cross:
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/3982/10968/

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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks to everyone for the replies. Makes sense that medieval illustrators would omit minor details such as chin straps. If I could trouble you guys for a follow-up question. The image linked below has a helm, somewhere between a skull cap and a bascinet. Do you think that a chin strap would be appropriate for this type of helm, or would it have been attached in some way to the coif/aventail?

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4268/14131/


Jason
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 7:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I presume you mean the early bascinet with nasal?


I see no chin strap, ventail, or separation indicating an aventail. Other miniatures in Fr. 2091-2092 seem clearly to have separate coifs beneath the bascinet, or an aventail without visible means of attachment.
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b8452762k/f268.highres
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84478804/f46.highres
http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/btv1b84478804/f97.highres

Here's a similar helmet in the Holkham Bible of 1327-1335, possibly being worn over a padded hood like it's neighbor:
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/Viewer.aspx?ref=add_ms_47682_f040r



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BL Add MS 47682 fo040r-hood.jpg


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Last edited by Mart Shearer on Tue 27 May, 2014 7:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 27 May, 2014 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought I should add that the BNF also holds a Latin version of the same manuscript done in grisaille. It is believed the color version is the original and the Latin version is a near contemporary copy. It is worth mentioning in that BNF Latin 5286 shows a separate coif or aventail, and occasionally a line of rivets around the lower edge of the helmet which might indicate a fastening method for an aventail.


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BNF Latin 5286 fo.71r

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BNF Latin 5286 fo.68r [ Download ]

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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 3:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Mart. Yes that's the helm I was talking about. I picked that image in particular because it seems to show a hauberk with integral coif, making it unlikely that the helm was attached to the mail as in later bascinets. Just to clarify. The colour version is original, and the black and white is a copy, correct? If that's so the wouldn't that make the dots, indicating rivets, an addition? Can we thrust this addition? Thanks again for your input.

Jason
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Mark Griffin




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 1:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Skull caps (AKA cervellieres)


cervelliere's are the padding inside the bascinet/helm and not the metal skull cap underneath.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 2:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark,

What's the basis for that assertion?


I dug around a little to see what the earliest reference to an aventail on a bascinet might be, and noted these results on Armour Archive.

Richardson mentions an aventail in Fleet's receipt of armor from Edward II, BL Add MS 60584 fo.13r dating from 1325-1327, when Fleet took office to when Edward was deposed.
Quote:
one aventail worn out and rusty,


The fact that the same inventory lists more coifs than aventails is also noted:
Quote:
six mail coifs (tenis pro guerra);


The fact that the aventail was already worn out and rusted seems to show a possible origin a few years before, but the fact that most of these early inventories are primarily for the king and his household doesn't prove widespread adoption. I'll continue to presume anything between 1280-1320 is a bascinet over coif rather than aventail.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 2:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason O C wrote:
Just to clarify. The colour version is original, and the black and white is a copy, correct? If that's so the wouldn't that make the dots, indicating rivets, an addition? Can we thrust this addition?


Yes, BNF Latin Latin 5286 is believed to be copied from the higher quality miniatures in BNF Français 2091-2093. I wouldn't say that the additions are unreliable, simply the work of a different, likely later, hand. We know the French version was presented in 1317 thanks to an inscription in the work. The Latin version currently has a dating on the BNF site to the 1st quarter of the 14th century, but if it's a copy we can narrow that down to circa 1315-1325 in my view. The additional rivets on the bottom still isn't a common occurrence in the Latin version. Here's some appearing with a scale aventail on a flail-armed German. The bascinet with barber and kettle hat beneath (also seen in the Holkham Bible) along with other features might even make the grisaille miniatures date as late a c. 1330.



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BNF Latin 5286 fo131v-dtl.jpg
BNF Latin 5286 fo.131v

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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 3:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again Mart. I've long wanted to have one of these early bascinets made, for a Bruce invasion of Ireland kit, but I'm still not sure about whether to use a chin strap or in some way lace it to the coif. Does anyone know of any surviving examples of one of these early bascinets?

Jason
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Wed 28 May, 2014 6:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a great example of a chin strap on a helm being left out when worn , yet appears when the helm is off.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4673/7988/

Éirinn go Brách


Last edited by Stephen Curtin on Sat 31 May, 2014 2:51 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Thu 29 May, 2014 1:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason. This image might interest you

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4832/7939/

It seems to show the kind of helm your looking for, with a red lace holding it onto the coif.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Thu 29 May, 2014 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those could be the ties used to cinch the face opening of the aventail or coif.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5448/18079/

I've seen a few examples of reportedly surviving cervellieres, but here is disagreement over authenticity, what to call them in the 15th century, or if the item is a helmet, pot, etc.
http://greatpeace.pacmuseum.qc.ca/eng/mission...e-eng.html
http://xxx.xxx/uploads/2010/bascinet/cervelliere.jpg
http://s51.radikal.ru/i132/1106/5d/5636fc21de7c.jpg

This example offered through Hermann Historica stirred up quite a bit of controversy on another forum. It seems to be a legitimate river find, but is the dating correct, or is it even a helmet at all?
http://www.hermann-historica.de/auktion/hhm66...at66_a.txt

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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2014 11:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as a lace securing helm to coif, I've had a thought. Assuming that you would be already wearing your coif before donning a helm, how would you weave the lace through the coif and helm while they are on your head? Seems at worst impossible, and at best impractical.

Jason
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Jason O C





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PostPosted: Fri 30 May, 2014 12:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe I've been over-thinking this. Maybe not all helms were secured to the head with some sort of lace or strap. I've seen a good few of examples of helms falling off of people's head in period art, e.g. the above image from the Holkham Bible. If the helms were in some way strapped to the head then they should not fall off, even when you fall over.

Jason
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