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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2005 11:54 pm    Post subject: 15th Century Helmets         Reply with quote

I'm interested in putting a kit together from the period 1390-1425. I really like the maille-plate combos of the period, but I really don't like bascinets. Is there any other option for a closed in helmet in this period? I like armets and the sallet/bevor (IIRC), but as far as I can tell from the books I own, they are outside this period.

Can anyone give me any advice on this subject?
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 1:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm afraid you are out of luck, the period you have chosen is the heyday of the bascinet and great bascinet as far as closed helms go. The sallet doesn't appear until the late 1430's/early 1440's and the armet maybe even a bit later.
The only helmets I've seen mentioned for men-at-arms in the 1390-1425 period are the chapel-de-fer and mantaubanton, that is variations of the kettle hat.
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 2:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor,

Your post got me thinking....and that takes some doing ! Laughing Out Loud But as I recall there is an armet at Churburg dated to around 1420 ? Now minus its visor, which was unusual as it was held in place by a pin, and not pivotted as we normally expect them to be.I will try and look up the catalogue a little later on tonight for you and see what else I can find out about it. Churburg would definately be the place to look !
There is also a line drawing in "European Armour:1066-1700", by Claude Blair, taken from a French Manuscript of Ca. 1430, that shows a sallet and bevor. A little later admittedly....but only just ! Again when I get home later I will try and find out a bit more for you.

Hope that this helps and gives food for thought Happy

Regards as ever,

Russ

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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know that the date of arrival of the sallet, with or without visor, has ever been pinned down clearly enough to exclude its common use in the latter part of the Hundred Years' War. Here is a tapestry from the end of your chosen period, showing armor from the era of Agincourt or shortly after, where the horsemen appear to be wearing early sallets rather than bascinets: http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...urt_01.jpg

I think the sallet was probably in limited use by 1415, and certainly was in limited use by 1425. It's pretty unlikely that it spontaneously appeared only after the end of the Hundred Years' War, just in time to be the preferred headware of the Wars of the Roses. But you will be hard pressed to prove this fact with anything more than a reference to a tapestry or two. Surviving examples of sallets don't have date stamps, after all.


Last edited by Steve Fabert on Sun 24 Jul, 2005 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 7:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Fabert wrote:

I don't know that the date of arrival of the sallet, with or without visor, has ever been pinned down clearly enough to exclude its common use in the latter part of the Hundred Years' War. Here is a tapestry from the end of your chosen period, showing armor from the era of Agincourt or shortly after, where the horsemen appear to be wearing early sallets rather than bascinets: http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...rt_01.jpg.

The link doesn't work but when I went to the page about Azincourt http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...court.html all I foudn is 3 pictures form the late 15th Century all post-1450 as can be seen from the armour in them. Armour in paintings and tapestries are almost always from the period of the artwork in question even if an earlier event is shown. The so calle "Ceasar tapestires2 show Julius Ceasar and his legions in full late 15th Century equipment for example.

Steve Fabert wrote:

I think the sallet was probably in limited use by 1415, and certainly was in limited use by 1425. It's pretty unlikely that it spontaneously appeared only after the end of the Hundred Years' War, just in time to be the preferred headware of the Wars of the Roses. But you will be hard pressed to prove this fact with anything more than a reference to a tapestry or two. Surviving examples of sallets don't have date stamps, after all.

The sallet did saw use during the 100-Years War, however it only apears in realiable (written) sources late in the 1430s (the earliest date I've seen is 1437) and by the early 1440s the "salade" seems to have completely replaced the bascinet as the helmet demanded of English mounted archers in muster rolls and indentures. Sallets as early as 1415 IMHO not very likely due to both how existing pieces are dated and the fact that the writtens sources seem to be void of any mentioning of them. nor are they in evidence on any effigies or tomb brasses from that period. None of the major writers about the Azincourt period such as Bennett, Gravett or Curry mention sallets as part of the military equipment in 1415.
The main question is when sallet/celata became part of the military equipmentin italy were the helmet originated, one unfortuantely unsourced sugegstion I've seen is that the Lombard mercenaries which served in France in the mid-late 1420's. David Nicolle has a sourced recreation of an Italian knight in 1425 which mentions the armet as coming into use at that time so I'll have to adjust my claims of when the armet appeared downwards.
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Mats Norlund




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 8:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:

The link doesn't work but when I went to the page about Azincourt http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...court.html all I foudn is 3 pictures form the late 15th Century all post-1450 as can be seen from the armour in them. Armour in paintings and tapestries are almost always from the period of the artwork in question even if an earlier event is shown. The so calle "Ceasar tapestires2 show Julius Ceasar and his legions in full late 15th Century equipment for example.


If you take away the dot after the link i works. http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...urt_01.jpg
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 8:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:

The sallet did saw use during the 100-Years War, however it only apears in realiable (written) sources late in the 1430s (the earliest date I've seen is 1437) and by the early 1440s the "salade" seems to have completely replaced the bascinet as the helmet demanded of English mounted archers in muster rolls and indentures. Sallets as early as 1415 IMHO not very likely due to both how existing pieces are dated and the fact that the writtens sources seem to be void of any mentioning of them. nor are they in evidence on any effigies or tomb brasses from that period. None of the major writers about the Azincourt period such as Bennett, Gravett or Curry mention sallets as part of the military equipment in 1415.
The main question is when sallet/celata became part of the military equipmentin italy were the helmet originated, one unfortuantely unsourced sugegstion I've seen is that the Lombard mercenaries which served in France in the mid-late 1420's. David Nicolle has a sourced recreation of an Italian knight in 1425 which mentions the armet as coming into use at that time so I'll have to adjust my claims of when the armet appeared downwards.


If armets can be reliably placed to 1425, the deduction that sallets were not in use at the same time seems questionable. Neither of them is an improvement or advance on the other, and they were liekly to have been used at the same time, by different men at arms. The sallet is an improvement on the kind of headware usually shown on foot soldiers, and so would not deserve mention as knightly equipment in the historical references. Clearly sallets were worn by archers and foot soldiers for some time before they were included in the equipment of knights. These men were buried without tomb effigies.

I have never been a believer in the assumption that articles such as this did not exist until the surviving references say they are in common use. Once you see a reference in 1440 or so requiring all mounted archers to have a sallet, it is more likely that they were already in use by foot soldiers for some time. Before their use became mandatory the equipment had to have been in use already and recognized as a superior item. Attempts to pin down the exact date when it became acceptable for a knight to wear a sallet and bevor are probably futile for lack of evidence. But common soldiers with sallets surely predate the surviving documentary references.

I agree that tapestries mostly show the hardware in use at the time the sewing was done - but just as helmets do not come with date stamps, neither do the tapestries have an "A.D." label. Most tapestries showing a specific battle are generally dated to within a couple of decades of the event portrayed.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 10:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Steve Fabert wrote:

If armets can be reliably placed to 1425, the deduction that sallets were not in use at the same time seems questionable. Neither of them is an improvement or advance on the other, and they were liekly to have been used at the same time, by different men at arms. The sallet is an improvement on the kind of headware usually shown on foot soldiers, and so would not deserve mention as knightly equipment in the historical references. Clearly sallets were worn by archers and foot soldiers for some time before they were included in the equipment of knights. These men were buried without tomb effigies.

It's hard to say if Nicolles placement of a armet in 1425 is accurate, it is sourced but the date is a lot earlier than any date for armets mentioned in the other source I have read. However my research is slanted towards the French&English armies which combined with the language barrier means that my sources on the armour in use in Italy in the 1420's are incomplete.

I'm not sure one can connect the use of armet and sallet that way, we are after all talking about two diffrent helmets.

Looking at the english sources the sallet shows up as accepted part of the armour of a men-at-arms way before the armet appears even though the earliest refrence I have for an armet (1425) is far ealier than that for sallets. Of course regional preferences come into play and the sallet is far better for dismoutned combat than the armet which is probably why is favoured by the English and French who still fought on foot a lot even in the 1450's. The Italians on the other hand mainly fought mounted hence the preference for armets. As far as I can determine sallets appear as part of the equipment for archers&footsoldiers at the same time as they are mentioned as part of the men-at-arms equipment, at least in England and France.

Quote:
I have never been a believer in the assumption that articles such as this did not exist until the surviving references say they are in common use. Once you see a reference in 1440 or so requiring all mounted archers to have a sallet, it is more likely that they were already in use by foot soldiers for some time. Before their use became mandatory the equipment had to have been in use already and recognized as a superior item. Attempts to pin down the exact date when it became acceptable for a knight to wear a sallet and bevor are probably futile for lack of evidence. But common soldiers with sallets surely predate the surviving documentary references.


You are quite right that the helmets must have existed sometime before their existence is noted in documentary evidence, however such evidence gives a strong indication of when a particular piece became commonly accepted as a part of the soldiers gear. Remember that showing up with the right equipment (ie that demanded in the indenture or ordonnace) was a prerequisit for recing full pay or even being admitted into service.

Lack of evidence does not constitute evidence as far as I'm concerned which is why IMHO one should keep within the limits imposed by documented common usage instead of engaging in conjectural guess work. Otherwise one could simply use the lack of sources to justify increasingly absurd things.
While an exact date for when a men-at-arms first wore an sallet will certainly be impossible to find, establishing the timeframes in which it wasn't in use and when it was in common use can be done.

Archers, regardless of how they traveld off the battlefield seem to have been among those quickest to adopt the sallet, it is after all one of the best helmet designs around and the open faced version is very well suited to archery.

Steve Fabert wrote:

I agree that tapestries mostly show the hardware in use at the time the sewing was done - but just as helmets do not come with date stamps, neither do the tapestries have an "A.D." label. Most tapestries showing a specific battle are generally dated to within a couple of decades of the event portrayed.

Agreed but tapestries form a very small aprt of the pictorial evidence compared to paintigns and drawings, the picture you linked to isn't a tapestry but a drawing and as such can be fairly well dated by the work in which it appears.
Take this picture used by the website you linked to to illustrate the battle of Poitiers
http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...rs_01.html
It infact belongs to a 15th Century edition of Froissarts chronicles which is why it shows armour which it is well established that it didn't exist in 1356.
Pictorial evidence is hard to use unless one can date the artwork with any kind of accuracy as well as verify it with existing pieces or armour and written documentation.
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about barbutes? When did they first appear?
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Steve Fabert





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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg wrote:


Lack of evidence does not constitute evidence as far as I'm concerned which is why IMHO one should keep within the limits imposed by documented common usage instead of engaging in conjectural guess work. Otherwise one could simply use the lack of sources to justify increasingly absurd things.
While an exact date for when a men-at-arms first wore an sallet will certainly be impossible to find, establishing the timeframes in which it wasn't in use and when it was in common use can be done.

Steve Fabert wrote:

I agree that tapestries mostly show the hardware in use at the time the sewing was done - but just as helmets do not come with date stamps, neither do the tapestries have an "A.D." label. Most tapestries showing a specific battle are generally dated to within a couple of decades of the event portrayed.

Agreed but tapestries form a very small aprt of the pictorial evidence compared to paintigns and drawings, the picture you linked to isn't a tapestry but a drawing and as such can be fairly well dated by the work in which it appears.
Take this picture used by the website you linked to to illustrate the battle of Poitiers
http://draby.pl/dziejow_opisanie/wojna_stulet...rs_01.html
It infact belongs to a 15th Century edition of Froissarts chronicles which is why it shows armour which it is well established that it didn't exist in 1356.
Pictorial evidence is hard to use unless one can date the artwork with any kind of accuracy as well as verify it with existing pieces or armour and written documentation.


You are correct that the picture shown in the link I gave is not a tapestry, but a later illustration. But I believe there are similar helmets shown in the French tapestry of the Azincourt battle. I was unable to find a similarly clear picture of the tapestry on the internet, but here is one that may do. http://www.torbenhuse.dk/frit/ilja/agincou2.jpg

It appears that we are in agreement that the absence of documentary references to the date when the sallet became an acceptable component of a knight's battle gear is not dispositive proof that they were not worn for some few decades before the earliest surviving documentary reference. Otherwise we would be inferring a positive fact from a mere lack of documentary evidence to the contrary.
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Daniel Staberg




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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well I decided to play devisl advocate and try and sink my own case and i might have succeded. I dug some more into my sources and this is what I've found so far.

Edge&Paddock say that celata appeard as early as 1407 in Italy and began to be introduced into France and Burgundy from 1420 onwards reaching England a decade or so later (which fits reasonably well with my english documents).
Do note that this is an early open faced form of the celata/sallet which looks a lot like the bascinet it derived from, not the later visored type. (Visored sallets were never popular in Italy.)
This may explain why it at first is not recorded as a separate form of helmet, it looks so much like a bascient that the French and English writers identified it as one.

Which helmet is what?




Edge&Paddock's work is unsourced which always leaves me a bit uneasy, but then I suspect that I'm a bit fixated on beign able to follow up the conclusions an author makes. The overall quality of their book, "Arms & Armour of the Medieval Knight" is such that I assume that I'm in error until I can prove them wrong. Wink

There you have it, I stand corrected, a sallet could be a possible helmet for a portrayal of an Italian warrior of the 1407-1425 period or a Franco-Burgundian one post-1420 but it would be an open faced model in the early bascinet-like shape. Not the later more well shaped models which evolved both with and without visor.

I've not yet been able to dig up anything more on the armet.
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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jul, 2005 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm sure your aware of Alexi's fine feature: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_spot_bascinet.html . Perhaps the Churburg great bascinet is closer to what you are looking for? Also, I believe the 'flat faced klap-visored' bascinets are also fairly accurate for central/eastern European helms (German, Polish, Hungarian Austrian), I couldn't find a picture of a historic example, but here is a fairly good repro (scroll down): http://www.anshelmarms.com/bascinets.html . I wish someone had a picture of a 'flat-faced' visor with a side-pivot, as I'm looking for a helm that I like from this period also (a bit earlier I suppose).
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:
What about barbutes? When did they first appear?


for what it is worth, Stephen Fliegel, assistant curator of the Cleveland Museum armour collection, wrote up their collection in a book ("Arms and Armour", of course Surprised ). In this collection is a barbute from the Venetian occupation of Chalcis in Greece, dated from 1350 -1420. It has an unusually high, conical shape. Apparently, the term "barbuti" was used for the soldiers involved.
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Taylor Ellis




PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 8:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info guys! To go the other way, at what point does the great helm fall out of use? I'd like my kit to have a beastplate rather than a coat of plates, but had the bascinet pretty much taken over by then?
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jul, 2005 9:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just wonder how much overlap of helm types there would have been: Continued use of out of fashion helms later than what we might imagine ?

Great helm use after the Bascinet became the norm or Bascinet use after the Salade " Italian" or " Gothic " became so popular as to dominate.

Or, earlier, Nasal helms still being used when Great helms were in general use.

Isolated backwaters might still use older equipment as well as poorer knights or mercenaries. Weren't Irish warriors of the 15th / 16th century equipped very much like 11th century Knights: Still using Nasal helms and Hauberks with little if any plate armour. ( I could be completely wrong here! )

Outdated arms in the hands of peasant militias or village / town guards.

The elite that could afford the best up to date equipment might look down on using functional but out of style equipment as well as official equipment requirements making the older stuff unacceptable.

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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2005 12:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Felix Wang wrote:
Hisham Gaballa wrote:
What about barbutes? When did they first appear?


for what it is worth, Stephen Fliegel, assistant curator of the Cleveland Museum armour collection, wrote up their collection in a book ("Arms and Armour", of course Surprised ). In this collection is a barbute from the Venetian occupation of Chalcis in Greece, dated from 1350 -1420. It has an unusually high, conical shape. Apparently, the term "barbuti" was used for the soldiers involved.


Thanks Happy. I believe one of the names for barbutes was celata, which sounds a lot like salade and sallet. It makes me think either: 1) that those terms were once generic names for helmets and it's modern people like us who have turned them into specific types Big Grin, or 2) that barbutes and sallets started out looking similar, but evolved along different lines.

Picture 19 on this page http://www.geocities.com/ulfberth/Angelo.htm (originally mentioned on another thread) shows a celata / barbute dated 1430 to 1469.
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2005 4:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Taylor,

I cannot get to my copy of Churburg at the moment, but having had a quick flick through on the CD that I have, the famous armet in Churburg,as copied and used by the 'Black Prince ' in the film "A knights tale" ! , is mentioned as dating from 1370 ! Eek! I do not know on what evidence this is based but it say this in several places. I will have another read through and see what else I can find out about it. Surely this must be a mistake ??

The sallet and bevor from the french manuscript that I recalled is illustrated in a line drawing on page 200 of Claude Blairs "European Armour;1066-1700" . Fig.103. It says: "Sallet and bevor after French MS. of c.1430.Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris (MS.Fr.235,Fo 144 Vo.)".

The armet that I origainally spoke of as being from ca. 1420 is no.57 in the Churburg collection.
The Armet (57),is also shown in a line drawing in the same book, fig. 116, p.202. and it is again shown ( mounted on armour C.18 in the Churburg collection ), on page 89, fig.30 of the same book .In latter years though , the other armet that I spoke of , ca.1370, is usually associated with this harness (It has the railing effect on the upper edge of the cheek pieces).
According to Blair, the first dated representation of an armet is shown on a German effigy, that of Dietrich Hofer (ob.1416), at Sunching in Bavaria. I will let you know more about the other armet from 1370(?), when I have read up a bit more.

Hope that this helps,
Regards as ever,

Russ


Ps. Sorry that I am unable to post pictures at the moment Sad Perhaps someone else can oblige ?[/i]

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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jul, 2005 9:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hisham Gaballa wrote:


Thanks Happy. I believe one of the names for barbutes was celata, which sounds a lot like salade and sallet. It makes me think either: 1) that those terms were once generic names for helmets and it's modern people like us who have turned them into specific types Big Grin, or 2) that barbutes and sallets started out looking similar, but evolved along different lines.

Picture 19 on this page http://www.geocities.com/ulfberth/Angelo.htm (originally mentioned on another thread) shows a celata / barbute dated 1430 to 1469.

As I understand it the barbuta evovled out of the celata, the one in the picture you linked to me has features seen in both the ealier bascient as well as in sallets and barbutes. The barbuta seems to have been one way to solve the lack of face protection seen in the original celata. Outside Italy a visor and a separate bevor seem to have been the common means of increasing the protection the sallet gave the face of it's wearer.
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PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2005 10:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel wrote,

Quote:
As I understand it the barbuta evovled out of the celata


Daniel,
I think that it is actually the other way around. The early barbuta very closely resembles the bascinet from where it evolved and I think that the celata derives from the barbuta a little later on. From what I understand, the barbuta gets its name from the Italian word for beard ( Barba ?). Some bascinets had a nasal attached by its bottom edge to the mail aventail, when this was lowered it certainly resembles a long narrow beard,this is one possibility that I have heard.
Another is that the helmet, worn without an aventail allowed the wearers beard to be seen. Also in the IVth century many Italian foot soldiers were called barbuti. Any of these are possible, but whatever the case I think that they all predate the celata.

Regards as ever,

Russ

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PostPosted: Thu 26 Jan, 2006 11:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello All, this reply is for Mr. Taylor Ellis regards Sallet/bevor dates. I do not have my reference materials with me, therefore writing this all from memory, so please forgive. I do remember reading about St. Joan of Arc where one of her companions, Jean de Aulon (once again forgive spelling, this is from memory) testified at St. Joan's trial of Rehabilitation that she had received a minor head wound and he remove her SALADE. This action took place in 1429 or 1430. This has always stuck in my mind as I had always thought that this was a little early for St. Joan to be wearing a salade/sallet. I also have to believe that Jean de Aulon knew what he was talking about, and did not say bacinet. Would this not date the salade/sallet to 1429-30? I would appriciate any opinions as I too have an interest in the earliest dates of the sallet/bevor combination.
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