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Markus Fischer

Location: Germany
Joined: 14 May 2020
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2022 8:34 am    Post subject: Construction of late medieval helmets         Reply with quote

I recently cogilated about the way helmets were constructed in the late middle-ages. I am specifically referring to such ones as the bascinet and the sallet.

The general perception is that, at least the main-helmet without the visor and bever, was hammered out of a single piece of sheet steel/iron and was finished later on.

However low- and mid-range reproductions of such helmets these days are often made from two separate halves that are later welded together.
This is usually done because it requires far less skill to form several pieces and later join them to one, than to form the entire helmet out of a single sheet.

Therefore I wondered if the lower-end of late-medieval helmets were made in a similar fashion, where they would just forge-weld two halves together.

Are there any surviving examples of such helmets? If yes, how many?

I assume that even if there are not many surviving pieces, there might have been a lot more at the time.

This could be explained by the high likelihood of such helmets being munitions-grade pieces that were used-up in battle, as they were of rather low quality.
For the same reasons they were probably also not passed down and cared for as family-heirlooms such as higher quality pieces were.

I would be curious to find out more about this topic Happy

EDIT: I am specifically NOT referring to helmets of which the starting-material was forge welded from several (different) pieces of steel.
I am talking about helmets which were made from pieces that were welded together AFTER they were already hammered to shape.
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Augusto Boer Bront
Industry Professional

Location: Cividale del Friuli (UD) Italy
Joined: 12 Nov 2009

Posts: 280

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jul, 2022 7:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's no evidence at all that helmes in the middle ages were two halves welded together.

Later morions and cabassets of the XVIth century and onwards were sometimes made of two halves hammered together at the comb, so crimpled together, but not welded.

All the extant pieces in mueums are made from a single piece, and there's no written evidence that they did made them of welded construction.

They just din't do it Wink .


Pinterest albums to almost all existing XIVth century armour.

Pinterest albums on almost all existing XVth century Italian armour.
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Sean Manning

Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 732

PostPosted: Mon 01 Aug, 2022 5:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This Armour Archive thread might be helpful on how different modern processes which start from thin sheet steel are from historical processes which start from a lump of iron. Some day in the near future shops in Poland, Ukraine, Russia, and Belarus will be making enough headpieces that it makes sense to commission 50 rough bowls for helmets by something more like the method in this thread. But the knowledge + market have not yet come together.
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