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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 2:31 am    Post subject: Funerary helms         Reply with quote

Please share any photos and information on helms relating to funeral achievements and heraldic iconography.

As an example, attached is an English Heraldic Helm from the 17th century.

Thank you!



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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

At the Higgins Armory:



You can always tell by the blackened, thin steel, and the obviously non-movable gorget lames.

Another view:



"English, second half of 17th century
Steel, iron, pain
Weight: 5 lbs. 15 oz.

By the early 14th century in Europse, armor was used to decorate the chuch tombs of important nobles or military heroes. In the late 16th century, this honor was extended to wealthy merchants who sought recognition of an honorable, chivalric life. This increased demand required reuse and redecoration of old armors, and the making of new ones. Helmets were central to the "achievement of arms," a set of equipment suspended above the monument or effigy of the deceased.

The practice declined by the end of the 16th century, and during the next century armor merely accompanied the deceased's body to the church. Enthusiastic armor collecting in the 19th century resulted in many funerary panoplies being sold off by poor parish clergy to dealers and collectors. "

Funerary helmet of Sir Richard Lee:



He died during the reign of Elizabeth. This funerary helmet is clearly not English in design, but rather has a German look to the upper bevor, the "duck-billed" look as I like to call it.

Many coats of arms are topped with the barred-visor tourney helm (a very old fashioned type of helmet) but far more of them seem to have frog-mouthed Stechhelms on top:


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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this can be considered related since the topic is both funerary and heraldry"iconography" related. A significant amount of art depicting helms that was developed for heraldic purposes survives from the 16th century forward. Helms featured as parts of crests were prominent in German “bookmarks”, meaning stamped designs placed in books to show ownership. Nearly all helms shown in these cases, as well as some of the previous funerary examples, are “tournament” helms which had come to imply something we can debate about regarding wealth, class, and resources in order to be eligible for German tournaments by the 16th century AD.

The example posted is a bookmark from 1509 by Albrecht Durer for a senator of Nuremburg, Michael Schwarzhach.

Art from “German Book-plates”, Charles Sumner of Boston, Harbard College Library, class of 1830, page 106.



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helm.gif


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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 2:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What's interesting is how these 16th and 17th century funerary helms with the barred visors derive firstly from tournament helmets for mounted blunted steel and baton combat in from the early 15th century, and as a consequence are literal interpretations of the motif helms common on heraldric devices such as the example just posted by Jared. Although by the time they were made, they would seem novel and less than useful, their origins lie in proper, practical tournament helms from generations past. It's an interesting topic... I'm glad you posted it Nathan. Cheers!

-Gregory

(EDIT: I just noticed, even more coincidentally, that the figurine in Jared's avatar is wearing just such a helm as those 15th century tournament pieces I mentioned!)

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote



That has to be the ugliest helm I've ever seen! Perhaps this is evidence for a certain Dr. Zoidburg having paid a visit to our past? Big Grin

On a more serious note, I wonder what could have inspired that to adorn your final resting place for all time.

M.

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Michael Harley




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No information on these unfortunatly, just a couple of images I grabbed from flickr, I think.


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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 7:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Know this: apparently some actual field helmets were used as mortuary decorations. This gilded helmet, which is labeled as possibly from Holland, was built for combat but hung over a tomb:



It most likely belonged to someone very wealthy.

This helmet from Bunratty Castle, Ireland, was clearly made as a decoration:


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