Great helms, mantles and crests

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RottenCad
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Great helms, mantles and crests

Post by RottenCad »

Hi,

Does anyone have source material to show how mantles were attached to helms, and whether they would require a crest at all times? Just enquiring because I'm getting a mantle made up, and my lovely tailor reckons it would have been secured by the crest. I'm not at all sure about this ...

Any pointers gratefully received,

TTFN

Cad
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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

I don't have any evidence to hand, but I'm sure I've seen jousting helms (of which the great helm was an early example) with several pairs of small hoes round the crown. The theory was that laces would be put through these and used to secure the manteling and crest. How would the crest hold the mantel on, surely not just the single bolt?

I've seen pictures in Osprey books af manteling without crests, but that's not proof.
It may be something the is subject to fashion, so it will depend when and where as to whether it was done.

Good luck
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Kaos Ben
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Post by Kaos Ben »

Colin, I gues you mean holes, right?

In King Rene of Anjou's tournament book are drawings of how a crest should be attached. There are holes, as described by Colin, drilled through the helmet, and through these go arming points.
These points are used to attach a leather cap onto the helmet where a spike is sticking out. This is the framework on which the crest is attached.

In castle Churburg an extant great helmet is still preserved and this one still has it's crest. You could look for pictures of it for more reference material.

Also, on many extant 15th c. sallets and armets T-slots or holes have been made,through which a similar spike can be attached for mainting a crest.
Last edited by Kaos Ben on Thu Nov 01, 2007 2:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Colin Middleton
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Post by Colin Middleton »

Kaos Ben wrote:Colin, I gues you mean holes, right?
:oops: Yes. :oops:

That cap business ring a bell, we may have been reading the same books. :)

Thanks
Colin

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Kaos Ben
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Post by Kaos Ben »

Treatise on the Form and Organization of a Tournament
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Hereafter follows the fashion and style in which ought to be made the harness for the head, body and arms, shields and mantlings that one calls, in Flanders and in Brabant and in those noble countries where tourneys are commonly held, mantlings or achievements, coats of arms, saddles, trappers and horsecloths for horses, maces and swords for tourneying.
And to show you better, here below is drawn one piece after another as it should be.

That is to say, first the crest ought to be mounted on a piece of cuir boulli, which ought to be well padded to a finger's thickness, or more on the inside; and the piece of leather ought to cover all the top of the helm, and be covered with a mantling, decorated with the arms of whoever carries it. And on the mantling above the top of the helm should be the crest, and around it should be a twisted roll of whatever colors the tourneyer wishes, about the thickness of an arm or more or less at his pleasure.


From: http://www.princeton.edu/~ezb/rene/renebook.html

I also found this on earlier helmets:
(On crests)
For example that in the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome found at Bolzano, that in the Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm and especially that in the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich. The first two being provided with pairs of holes for lacing on a crest, the latter with an actual fitting fastened to the top-plate. One of the few surviving hems with a crest is the famous Prank helm in Vienna, although it is much later than the above examples. There are also numerous helms from English churches fitted with wooden crests, from an even later period. These were purely heraldic displays, often incorporating much earlier helms bought by the heralds for the display, in many cases having little or no association with the deceased.

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RottenCad
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Post by RottenCad »

Thanks chaps - especially for the diagram!

Would the mantle ever be worn without the crest? And would they be worn on the field, or only at tourneys?

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Mark Griffin
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Post by Mark Griffin »

Does seem to depend on where you are Cad but in general you wear a crest, mantle, cap of maintenance etc whereever you need to be noticed. Late 15th cent soources have the option of just wearing a pomme and panache on the helm with a tabard over the harness for i.d. purposes.
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