[ANSTHRLD] 15th-century barrel helm

Diane Rudin serena1570 at yahoo.com
Mon Apr 19 16:14:50 PDT 2010


Having been there "at the founding", I believe I can clear this one up for you.

You are laboring under the mistaken impression that when we wrote up those rules and descriptions 25 years ago we had access to the wealth of resources that currently exist to assist us in being very accurate with our descriptions.

We did not.  We had battered copies of Brooke-Little and Fox-Davies.  Friar's Dictionary of Heraldry came to our attention a few years later, and was a huge leap forward in our resources.  We photocopied books because there was no internet, and no other way to distribute otherwise rare information.  My own first three heraldry books were brought back from England for me by my father, who picked them up in London one evening off during a business trip there.  You really couldn't get the good books in the U.S.

So, we called something that turns out to be a 14th century barrel helm a 15th century barrel helm.  I'd recommend looking it up under "Helms" in Friar's Dictionary of Heraldry, but I expect that Robin and I are probably the only heralds on this list who still own and use printed books.  The closest thing I can find in a quickie internet search is this: http://www.heraldry-clipart.com/art/helmet8.html which is different from the 13th century version in that the top is kinda pointy, rather than flat, but the front and back are still a straight line.

But when I was being taught about Ansteorra's heraldic regulations in the late 1980's, the helm that is called a "barrel helm" in the picture in Friar's was the "barrel helm" that was considered the default helm.  It turns out it's not 15th century, but 14th.  Amazing that no one's questioned it before.  I'm betting that's because most people want to register their own personal helm.

--Serena, Blanc Gryffon Herald

----- Original Message ----
> From: Coblaith Muimnech <Coblaith at sbcglobal.net>
> To: Inc. Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>; Inc. Heralds List Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA <heralds at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Sent: Mon, April 19, 2010 5:34:48 PM
> Subject: [ANSTHRLD] 15th-century barrel helm
> Could someone describe to me the defining characteristics of a 15th-century 
> barrel helm?  That's listed on the registration form as our default for 
> heraldic achievements 
> <http://herald.ansteorra.org/achievements/Achievementform061002.pdf>, but 
> the returns on a Google search for the "15th century" and "barrel helm" all seem 
> to say things like, "The Barrel Helm was the very large helmet used in 13th 
> century," "The. . .barrel helm, of the High Middle Ages arose in the late 
> twelfth century in the context of the crusades and remained in use until the 
> fourteenth century," and, "Used in the 13th Century, Barrel helms were a 
> necessity for men at arms," and where photos of original or recreated barrel 
> helms are presented, the dates given for them are similar.  So I'm having a 
> little trouble figuring out what a "15th-century barrel helm" looks 
> like.


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