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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 1:42 am    Post subject: European helms with cheek plates         Reply with quote

Hi all,
I have been thinking lately about cheek pieces on helms.
My frame of reference is Europe, north of the alps, and west of Dniepr.

My question is if wecan assume that cheek pieces on helmets have been constantly (if with varying popularity) in use?

We know them quite well from the classic sutton hoo, Vendel and Coppergate finds. There also seem to be some sort of cheek plates on some of the Lewis chess-men.

Then there seem to be a gap, where I would assume that the prevalent use of mail hoods make cheek plates obsolete (for helms that did not provide full cover, such as great helms or barbutes), but then they appear again in the late medieval era/renaissance with kettle hats, skull caps and proto-burgonets.

Can we "fill in the blanks" with findings, or manuscript images in this rather large time span? Or did the cheek piece helms actually disappear for a few hundred years and then re-appear again in the late medieval era?

I am especially curious about the situation of eastern Europe, since I know that my knowledge of that area is weak.

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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 3:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to clarify, are you claiming that all helmets in these periods had cheekguards?

There are some from the migration/early medieval period that do not. I'm thinking particularly about the many broad band/bandenhelms (which have the greatest longevity of any helmet form) that don't.

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




Location: Höör, Skane
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 4:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Just to clarify, are you claiming that all helmets in these periods had cheekguards?

There are some from the migration/early medieval period that do not. I'm thinking particularly about the many broad band/bandenhelms (which have the greatest longevity of any helmet form) that don't.


Not at all, I am curious if the cheek plates (as a separately attached feature) have been used fairly constantly during the time period and culture or if it went away completely and then reappeared?

It's popularity must of course have varied.

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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might help:

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=137658

I'm sure you can find unusual examples here and there, but I'd say cheekpieces were indeed pretty much not used for a while--I'm thinking Norman Conquest era, of course.

Matthew
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 336

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:
This might help:

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...p;t=137658

I'm sure you can find unusual examples here and there, but I'd say cheekpieces were indeed pretty much not used for a while--I'm thinking Norman Conquest era, of course.

Matthew


Thanks, Matthew! That thread pretty much adressed my exact question Happy
And yes, I now will be on a lookout for the oddball examples of solid cheek pieces in the time span from after the Lewis chessmen, and onwards..

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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

plate cheek defenses go back SO much farther in time (Romans, Greeks at least) that it does seem that IF there is any period in which they were not used at all that period would be the exception. Also, plate and mail do not provide equal protection, so even in periods in which mail dominated, somebody might have still used plate cheeks. It just seems like too practical a solution for it to have been abandoned entirely. I have no evidence to offer, though.
-Sean

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Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
Joined: 06 Mar 2007

Posts: 252

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 1:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scandinavian kettle hats of the 13th-14th centirues were often fitted with cheek guards. They are particularly evident in Norwegian art.
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Bjorn Hagstrom




Location: Höör, Skane
Joined: 25 Oct 2007
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Reading list: 8 books

Posts: 336

PostPosted: Tue 09 Jul, 2013 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikael Ranelius wrote:
Scandinavian kettle hats of the 13th-14th centirues were often fitted with cheek guards. They are particularly evident in Norwegian art.


Any hints of what Norweigan sources to look at? I assume church paintings?

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