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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 9:20 am    Post subject: Who likes Kettle Hats & How popular were they ?         Reply with quote

Just thought I would start a discussion about kettle helms from the point of view of wearability and historical distribution by time and region.

I notice in another topic that Elling was welcoming Patrick to join his group in Norway any time as soon as he got a kettle hat. Laughing Out Loud QUOTE, " Get a kettlehat, tie a red ribbon around it, and you can join up with our 1260 Norwegian kingsmen any day ".

Topic: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...p;start=22

I assume from this that kettle hats were very popular in Norway and that Elling might educated us as to how early they may have been used and anything else interesting else about them he could tell us.

The kettle hat family includes later evolutions like the Morion and a close cousin of German sallets.

Our image of Viking helms is mostly of nasal helm ( Norman ) but I wonder if kettle helms were not also used very early by both Vikings and Normans. I think there were types of helms used in the time of Charlemagne that look very much like a 16th century morion with downturned rims at the side and some sort of front to back ridge or crest.

The kettle hat was also popular in southern France and I would think in Palestine due to the heat if nothing else.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!


Last edited by Jean Thibodeau on Mon 21 Nov, 2005 10:20 am; edited 1 time in total
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Patrick Kelly




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 9:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judging from period artwork the kettle hat was quite popular. I don't think you'll find it in use among the nordic countries in the viking age though.

After the conical/nasal helm the kettle is one of my favorites (chapel de fer or whatever you want to call it). I've worn a lot of different helmet designs over the years and I can't stand the ones that fully enclose my face. Protective yes, but highly irritating to me since most of them eliminate your peripheral vision and make me feel too confined. That's just a personal thing and not a comment on design.

I think the kettle was very popular for the reasons you've stated: it was an effective design yet still allowed for full visibility and breathing. I need to get one.

"In valor there is hope.".................. Tacitus
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The kettle hat was quite common in scandinavia from the early late 12th cent onwards.

They where known as "Stalhufu" in the writtwen sources, and can be seen on a number of illustrations, including the Lewis chessmen.
King Sverre was stated to wear a "kettle hatt in the german style" in the late 12th cent.
A number of kettlehats have been found in norway. Many of them have a quite distinct style;


"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Mon 21 Nov, 2005 11:51 am    Post subject: Re: Who likes Kettle Hats & How popular were they ?         Reply with quote

I have spent some time here lately in a kettle helm. I dig it quite a bit. Vis is great, as is breathability, and the brim does provide more defense than I had thought it might.

As for related pieces:
Jean Thibodeau wrote:
The kettle hat family includes later evolutions like the Morion and a close cousin of German sallets.


I know the Morion has a fairly similar feel to it - not much more experience other than plopping one on my noggin once or twice to feel it out, but no personal use. The German sallet, on the other hand... I'll be getting back to you soon on that one, I hope. Wink I should have a couple of decent "references" to work from... Razz

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Alan F




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Nov, 2005 7:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It was extrememly popular - the illustration as late as the 15th century of the Armee Ecosse show many of the unarmoured soldiers wearing them. In the 13th and 14th century they were definitely amongst the preferred bits of kit - Edward I for example prefered to wear one.
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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Is that a kettle hat (the guy in the right bottom corner )? I only know the term Eisenhut, but it seems to be the same kind of helmet.
To me It's quite understandable why this kind of helmet was so popular - good protection against attacks from above (especially arrows) while maintaining freedom of movement and the ability to hear at the same time. I guess it was also easier to make than a Sallet or a Bascinet.



Last edited by Wolfgang Armbruster on Wed 23 Nov, 2005 6:36 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wolfgang;

Yes that is a form of Kettle Hat or Chapelle de Fer in French ( Steel hat ).

There are many styles of Kettle Hats over the centuries and regional differences and other helms like Sallets and German Eye Slot Kettle Hats have a lot in common in function.

The wide brim seems to me very good in blocking many angles of attack from above and at an angle from above while giving good vision and hearing and ease of getting air. Would also be cooler in hot weather.

Combined with a coif, bevor or if it has cheek plates it covers even more angles of attack without the need to cover the face.

Some with downturned sides cover the sides of face and neck very well and can look like very early forms of Morion helms.

Whether one can say that other helms evolved from the kettle hat or evolved independently but offer similar advantages and similar chape as well as similar areas of coverage is another question open to debate.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Wolfgang Armbruster





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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the info, Jean!

Chapelle de Fer means almost the same as Eisenhut (iron hat). I don't speak Norwegian, but I guess Elling's Stahlhufu means something similar. (Please correct me if I'm wrong Big Grin)

Is there any info on when the first kettle-hats appeared on the battlefield? To me it looks like this design didn't surface before the 12th century, but I could be wrong.
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Johan S. Moen




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Nov, 2005 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wolfgang Armbruster wrote:
Thanks for the info, Jean!

Chapelle de Fer means almost the same as Eisenhut (iron hat). I don't speak Norwegian, but I guess Elling's Stahlhufu means something similar. (Please correct me if I'm wrong Big Grin)

Is there any info on when the first kettle-hats appeared on the battlefield? To me it looks like this design didn't surface before the 12th century, but I could be wrong.


Stalhufu/stålhuva means steel hat/cap. So yes, you are correct. Happy

Johan Schubert Moen
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 1:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the 14th cent, "Jernhatt" is also used, wich directly translated means iron hat, as well.
"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jim McCoin




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 8:00 am    Post subject: Kettle helm         Reply with quote

I just found this forum, and I am just starting a kettle helm. I'm a long time welder fabricator so the metal parts are not a problem. What I'm looking for is information on the leather parts. Do you just wear an arming cap and tie the helmet on with a leather cord. If there is a chin strap is it bucked or just tied.

From what information I have found so far, nobody seems to know. I would like to keep this project as authentic as possible.

Thanks

Jim McCoin

Jim McCoin
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 8:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim;

Usually there would be some sort of suspension system: Here is an example of what an un-installed liner looks like in its component parts. You can order these from Mercenary's Tailor (Allan is a nice guy to deal with. ) or make your own if you wish.
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...2732b1288c

Nice also for all you guys who bought that cheap helm with no liners: I think you can send your helm for Allan to put in or install it yourself. ( This is what I did and is not too difficult to do: If you do a search on this site you may be able to find a topic were I explain in detail how to install. I have to leave you guys something to do by yourselves. Razz Laughing Out Loud Oh, and there are tons of info one can find here if one uses the search function. When new to the site it's easy to not be aware of all the cool features. Big Grin )

In any case, Jim, welcome to the site and I hope this was helpful.

Home page of Mercenary's Tailor: http://www.merctailor.com/index.php ( Oh, also look at all the links at the top and there are also tons of sites where you can see the work of armour and other vendors and useful info web-sites. )

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I dont think there is any evidence of a suspension system in the historic helmets; It's a modern addition.
Back In the Day, people wore arming caps.

I'd be partial to a simple buckle, but tying is also posible. In this case, I'd use the variety used on contemporary some sword belts:
http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ebind/docs/cpg848/cpg848128.jpg
The two thin cords go through the holes in the broad part of the belt, and are tied:
http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/ebind/docs/cpg848/cpg848294.jpg

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 10:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Eillen;

One of my reference books shows the inside of a great helm: This is a tomb statue showing a knight resting his head on his great helm where one sees the inside of the helm. The sculpture clearly shows a lining / suspension made up of 8 triangular pannels meeting on what looks like a small circle that might be a lacing tying the points of the pannels or a circle of leather.

This looks in principle exactly like the " modern " interpretation used currently as suspension made by many armour makers.

Primary source: Tomb of Ulrich de Werd, Landgrave of Base-Alsace died 1344. Tomb the work of Woelffelin de Rouffach. at the church Saint-Guillaume, Strasbourg. Book: " Armes et Armure de Charlemage à Louis XIV ", by Paul Martin, Conservateur du Musée historique de Strasbourg. Office du livre, Fribourg © 1967

In any case, Eillen, didn't want to contradict you without some good sources. Cool Big Grin

(Sorry no digital camera yet or I would post a picture. ) Oh, this doesn't mean that arming caps were not also used as well as cervelliére and or coif.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Thu 24 Nov, 2005 11:10 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was also under the impression that suspension systems and arming caps were used together.
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Jeff Johnson





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2005 7:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone have evidence that arming caps were used between 1300-1500?

I've seen the period liners in two sallets and both had a form of suspension liner, linen quilted with what appeared to be tow stuffing, sewn to the edge of a leather band riveted to the brim of the hat. I've also seen the inside of an armet with a leather strip riveted around the edges, which (presumably) had a similar cloth liner.

Here's a photo of one, from the Royal Armouries in Leeds. The link goes to a Full sized detailed pic.



http://www.mathildegirlgenius.com/gallery/Museums/Image242?full=1

I said "form of" suspension liner, because it appears the liner was in both cases quartered and in the other one, there was enough liner remaining to have the tie-holes at the tips of the quarters. I'd estimate the thickness of the liner in the photo to be about 1/4" or less at the sides, thicker in the front and back due to the shape of the helmet. The liner appeared to be readily-remocable by cutting stitches around the edge - except for the inexplicable (later additions?) river at the front.

Regarding the liner in the link Jean provided: WTF?! The leather makes the liner thicker, while providing no padding benefit whatsoever. The material choices are totally inappropriate, as wool felt and cotton batting don't wick moisture away from the skin and dry well - quite the opposite - they will collect and put the moisture against your head (so it'll remain wet and hot), Plus, you can't easily remove, clean or replace it like you can with a linen liner stiched to a leather band. That brass-plated, figure-eight, riveted "tandy" buckle is totally wrong historically - as are the grommets, and the concept of riveting leather to cloth panels. (ever hear of sewing fer chrissakes?).
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Jim McCoin




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2005 8:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It appears I have found the right Forum, I want to thank you all for your input, especially you Jeff for the great photo.

Jim McCoin.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2005 9:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jim;

Jeff"s comments on the liner from Mercenary's Tailor are interesting and valid if one is going for the most strict
" Living history " standards were every little thing has to be made as closely to period as humanly possible.

Nothing wrong with this as long as those standards are not imposed on those who have different goals / time / money.
Oh, and bringing the subject up is very useful as one should not choose a level of authenticity from ignorance.

In general principle the design of the suspension resembles what was used. ( Conceding that in detail there is a lot of room for discussion of material and mode of attachment. )

I could be very wrong here, but a suspension like this doesn't work by being a thick pad between your skull and the metal sides of the helm: What it does is keep your head well away from the helm and as long as the shape of the helm does not cave in due to a blow the liner keeps direct transmission of impact energy from helm wall to skull bones.

The head still ends up absorbing the energy in total but it is spread out over the whole and not concentrated at one point.
I don't think these suspensions work due to the thickness of the padding at all.

The same kind of liner in my Eye Slot Kettle Helm from Valentine armoury uses the same 4 panel design but uses only a thinner leather suspension without any padding. ( Maybe this is also not historically correct or maybe it's closer. )
http://www.varmouries.com/vpics/goth_38a.jpg

Another maker's interpretation of liners: http://www.armurerieduduche.com/Site%20Anglai...casque.htm
Previous page of the site showing various helms including some kettle hats and sallets :
http://www.armurerieduduche.com/Site%20Anglai...Casque.htm

At this point in my collecting armour I am not personally upset or concerned about having a modern buckle on my equipment ! If I were to purchase top end full harness costing close to $20,000 these things would matter to me. And as one learns more one tends to be more particular about the importance of historical details: Your milage will vary according to your needs or expectation.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2005 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another issue when it comes to padding vs. liner is wether or not you are going to wear a mail coif underneat; If you are, you will need a padded coif anyway.
But, as everything else, it would probably vary with personal preference, and what the maker of the helm felt like.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jeff Johnson





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Nov, 2005 11:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Jeff"s comments on the liner from Mercenary's Tailor are interesting and valid if one is going for the most strict " Living history " standards were every little thing has to be made as closely to period as humanly possible.

Nothing wrong with this as long as those standards are not imposed on those who have different goals / time / money.
Oh, and bringing the subject up is very useful as one should not choose a level of authenticity from ignorance.


My comments are valid in every instance, and I'm not proposing that anything be "imposed" on people. People can chose to use a method that is historically documented or not to - as they wish. What I'm doing is providing a documented, actual liner and discussing how it actually was made. I compared that liner to the one you recommended and indicated the advantages of the historical method over the product you endorsed - i.e. that aside from the fact that it would look like something historical, it is likely to be more comfortable and easier to maintain. And regarding money - making a liner to historic methods is fast, easy and inexpensive - less expensive than making the one you endorsed, and far less so than buying it. You need one strip of leather, a couple of square feet of linen, tow (shred a couple more square feet of scrap linen), a needle and thread. Making the liner you endorsed takes more leather and more expensive materials (grommets & rivets), and you will end up with something less effective that looks wrong, performs less well and will be less comfortable. Feel free to chose.

Regarding choice - I'm not sure what you mean by "choosing levels of authenticity from ignorance". People come to fora such as this expecting good information from informed sources. We have a duty to give them facts rather than increase ignorance by pulling the answer out of thin air. In your first post, it appears that you are speaking as an authority and endorsing a method and a vendor, when in reality, you have endorsed non-authenticity based upon personal ignorance. You removed the reader's option of choosing from ignorance by giving them false information, effectively making them assume they aren't ignorant when they choose an inathentic method. People actually listen and heed what is said here and some might have bought something poor based on the bum info provided. How does that make you feel?

You can't make an endorsement of a method and a product based on the fact that a vendor is a "Nice guy". If you want to base it off of something the vendor has done, base it off of the proven thoroughness of his past research. Or, better yet - don't trust vendors. Do the research yourself.

The information is out there - ignorance is your enemy.

[/rant]
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