Reproduction of a closed German helmet of the late XVth - Part II
This is the second part of an article about the making of a medieval helmet (part 1). The crown of the helmet has been done in part one, now the cheeks and the visor are being made and the full helmet is polished. Note that all the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.
As before, realising the cheek pieces of the armet begins with a cold working (15) and is then worked over the fire to achieve the desired form. Here too, the fine adjustment is to be done hot (16) so that the edges of the skull (crown) are correctly attached to the chin piece. The difficulty here is that this complex assembly must respect the anatomy of the man that is going to wear it. It would be ideal if one had a mould of the person's face; otherwise a series of measurements will be sufficient.
The visor is to be accomplished in the same way as the skull, with the difference that the initial cold working produces the 'nose' which will then be worked on hot (17). The anvil to be used will be conical in shape to guide the metal towards its final form. As before for the skull a succession of heatings must be carefully and regularly carried out to assure a gradual achievement of the desired form (19). The result of this work is a conical shape (20). It is now necessary to mark the angles and work them cold on an anvil with a cutting edge which will serve as a guide (21
The visor will now be adjusted (22) and the edges recut (23). The drilling of the ventail (24) is finished using a round file while respecting the model. This work assures ventilation and permits added visibility.
The visor is to be completed with an upper visor which permits a free field of vision without opening the helmet (25). The adjustment of this piece completes the assembly of the armet along with the hinges of the cheek pieces (26).
The polishing carried out here is purposely left with a mat finish, a compromise to resemble historic polishing (27/28)
During the final assembly the anchoring pins are installed, permitting the helmet to be fixed shut (29/30).
The securing of the linen accessory is accomplished due to a leather band riveted to the skull (23). The finished helmet may now continue its life on the head of its owner (34).
By Georges Joliot,
You can contact Georges via his site at
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