Help with Great Bascinet

I recently picked up a great bascinet and would like to outfit it for re-enactment battles. I am not terribly familiar with this type of helmet as I have always used an earlier period bascinet in the past. This leaves me with a few questions that I was hoping I could get assistance with.

1. How were these padded internally? Was it done in a similar fashion as the earlier period bascinet with a liner sewn into the helm? Was the liner plush with the helm or did it extend beyond the collar? Does anyone have a picture?

2. I am struggling to understand how I could protect the space between my neck and shoulders. This area is generally unprotected from downward blows on my harness. With my earlier period bascinet I employ a very heavily padded collar and of course the aventail that is attached to the helm. This drapes over my shoulders and provides excellent coverage. Here are two options I was considering for the great bascinet :

Option 1 - extending the liner beyond the edge of the helm and sewing some mail into the liner:

Option 2 - padding the liner plush with the helm and a using my heavily padded collar with a standard and simply wearing the great bascinet over top.

Suggestions as to the best approach in terms of historical accuracy would be appreciated.

3. Finally, regulations require that the helm be securely affixed to my head. Due to the design of the great bascinet I cannot employ a chin strap. It is my understanding that historically these helms were strapped directly into the breast and back plates. Is this correct? Is there another option worth considering?

Thank you for your support with this project.


You definitely should have a padded linen or silk lining sewn into the skull of your great bascinet. It should be thick enough to keep you safe but its important to leave enough room so that you can turn your head inside the thing.

It seems that earlier great bascinets were strapped down to the cuirass in the back but not in the front, but strapping down in the front too was happening by 1440ish at the latest and probably earlier. I would strap down in front too.

Those two things being done properly, and the helmet well made and fitted, you should be very safe inside.

Good luck, and post some pics when you've got it sorted out!


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