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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2015 6:36 am    Post subject: Medieval leather helmets: seeking info         Reply with quote

Not having much luck finding details about medieval leather helmets.

Specifically looking for information on leather helmets from the 14th-15th C that were slightly conical or dome shaped (like the cervellière), worn by lower-class fighters.

Perhaps called hunettes or huvettes.

Looking for
-detailed references
-extant examples
-detailed pictures in illuminated manuscripts

I would appreciate some assistance.
Thank you
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2015 8:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/huvette
Quote:
1. Casque de fer.
La entroient les Gandois, armez de leurs jaques, haubergeons, panciers et huvettes.


There's at least one source presuming the huvette is made of iron.

https://books.google.com/books?id=O-5cbzzU1JgC&pg=PA167&dq=La+entroient+les+Gandois+huvette&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CCAQ6AEwAGoVChMIsP31rqj0xwIVyZiACh2BBAHW#v=onepage&q=La%20entroient%20les%20Gandois%20huvette&f=false

Gives the source as the Memoirs of Olivier de la Marche, I R I, p.401.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Sun 13 Sep, 2015 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I haven't spoken French since I left Europe 30 years ago. I guess Google translate is my friend.

I am more interested in the poor-man's leather helms than the metal helms.

Mart Shearer wrote:
https://fr.wiktionary.org/wiki/huvette
Quote:
1. Casque de fer.
La entroient les Gandois, armez de leurs jaques, haubergeons, panciers et huvettes.


Here's what I get with Google translate:

"The entroient the Gandois, arm their jackfruit, haubergeons, panciers and huvettes."

It's all clear to me now! Happy
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2015 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It seems that the huvette was an iron helmet, not a leather one. What other term might have been used for leather helmets?
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2015 8:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gandois are men from Ghent. The root word for huvette simply means head, so I doubt the passage tells us more than that they were armored headpieces or helmets or some type.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2015 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So we are looking for qualifiers to tell us whether the helmet was made from metal or leather. You see the term steil bonnet in a lot of Scottish texts. The qualifier "steil" makes it clear that it is a metallic helmet. In French the qualifier is often de fer. I'm guessing that need to look for terms like huvette de cuir to find evidence of leather helmets.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Mon 14 Sep, 2015 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The term cappados is used in a few Middle English texts such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The best interpretation of this seems to be a helmet or hood made from Cappadocian leather. However these texts usually describe knights wearing it, not poor men. I'm not sure we can assume that a man who couldn't afford metal armour must have worn leather instead. In Western Europe, armour of any kind seems to be the preserve of the wealthy right up to near the end of the Middle Ages - regardless of whether it was metal, or leather, or cloth.
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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2015 2:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are some references, though Earlier than Harry had requested.

In Lombardy, the Statuti Della Societa Dei Vari, 1256
http://archive.org/stream/statutidellesoc02ga...3/mode/1up
Quote:
XXVIIII Statuimus quod quilibet de dicta societate
teneatur habere scutum et capelictam de coro vel capellum de ferro
et non caçetam
, nec debeant eas impignare. et ministrales teneantur
una vice in corum mistralia rumare, non dicentes alicui.
et si invenerint aliquem non habentem ad terminam ordinatos,
offerant ei nomine banni .v. sol. bon. et nichilominus teneantur
habere.


Cappella, being Italian for chapel, the similarity between the French chapel de fer is clear. The choice between the leather (coro) or iron (ferro) versions is approved, though the caçetam (cassetta - small box) is not allowed. I think this calls for leather or iron kettle hats, but not simple skullcaps. I'm not quite sure what the distinction between the iron and leather headpieces are which causes a different spelling - capelictam vs. capellum.

The Tournament at Windsor Park in 1278 uses leather helms (galee de cor.) and armor (quiret), along with baleen swords, so they're "sporting equipment". However, it's possible the maker, Rob'o Erunnler, had previous experience making leather helmets, which might have resulted in his contract.

Thom Richardson's thesis notes in 1344 and onward a kettle hat (capellos) of leather for the tournament (j de corio pro torniamento).

Since we have documentation for the covering of iron helmets with leather and cloth, it seems written sources for leather helmets are more definitive than pictures.

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Mart Shearer




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Sep, 2015 7:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Will McLean provides more references.
http://willscommonplacebook.blogspot.com/2014...nt-at.html

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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Fri 18 Sep, 2015 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
Will McLean provides more references.
http://willscommonplacebook.blogspot.com/2014...nt-at.html


That's the best reference that I've found so far, but not a primary source of data.
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Harry Marinakis




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Oct, 2015 11:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

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