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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 3:03 am    Post subject: Norman conical helm         Reply with quote

Timeline Auctions had a 11th C Norman conical helmet for sale (page 70).
http://www.timelineauctions.com/pdf/Catalogue-Antiquities.pdf

I don't know whether this has been posted before or not but the text seems to contain enough information to make a reconstruction.

Norman - Four-Plate Rivetted Spangenhelm Helmet.
210mm high, 175mm diameter; 1.71kg. Circa 11th century AD. An extremely rare iron helmet fabricated from four triangular iron plates skillfully made to accommodate the curvature of the human head and with a slight point at the apex; contoured so that the front and back plates overlap the side-plates by 1-2cm with iron rivets passing through this overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, and almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the inverted lower rim furnished with an additional series of rivets, probably to accommodate a lining; two empty rivet-holes at the base of the side-plates, where the cheekplates were originally attached; the plate-junction at the apex left slightly open, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted or a covering plate to be attached.



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Helm - Norman 11th C.jpg


Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Niels Just Rasmussen




Location: NykÝbing Falster, Denmark
Joined: 03 Sep 2014

Spotlight topics: 15
Posts: 800

PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: Norman conical helm         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Timeline Auctions had a 11th C Norman conical helmet for sale (page 70).
http://www.timelineauctions.com/pdf/Catalogue-Antiquities.pdf

I don't know whether this has been posted before or not but the text seems to contain enough information to make a reconstruction.

Norman - Four-Plate Rivetted Spangenhelm Helmet.
210mm high, 175mm diameter; 1.71kg. Circa 11th century AD. An extremely rare iron helmet fabricated from four triangular iron plates skillfully made to accommodate the curvature of the human head and with a slight point at the apex; contoured so that the front and back plates overlap the side-plates by 1-2cm with iron rivets passing through this overlap to secure them in position; the rivets worked flat into the surface of the helmet, and almost invisible from the outside but detectable on the inner surface; the inverted lower rim furnished with an additional series of rivets, probably to accommodate a lining; two empty rivet-holes at the base of the side-plates, where the cheekplates were originally attached; the plate-junction at the apex left slightly open, allowing a plume or horsehair streamer to be inserted or a covering plate to be attached.


See that this helmet is without nose guard.
I was under the impression that at least from the second half of the 11th century the nose guards became pretty standard - the Bayeux tapestry seem to have overwhelmingly nose guards (for the metal helms).

So is this deliberate old style? As it is mentioned that this helmet is done skillfully, it is not the lack of craftmanship (or material I reckon), that is behind the choice of not making a nose guard?!
Anyone knows what the find-% is with or without nose-guards from this period?

The small apex makes it look a bit like Eastern European type helmets (much greater apex though).
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Tim Jones




Location: United Kingdom
Joined: 05 Nov 2013

Posts: 37

PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both the shape and method of construction look distinctly Eastern European to me. The apparent horsehair/plume attachment make it even more so.
If it is in fact Norman, then at least I've learnt something today...
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 27 Feb, 2015 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Could be from anywhere.

It would be nice to see Ian Eaves report on it before the auction but no idea if that's possible.

It may indicate that there might have been a nasal and it now missing. Its a low price for a 'Norman' helmet when they are so rare. Hasn't this one been on the Hermann site?

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
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