The expert armor smiths at Darksword Armory have studied a whole range of medieval bascinet helmets to create the Sky Guard Helmet: a quintessential helmet to compliment any high-medieval re-enactment impression or LARP warrior outfit. Its construction and design made it a rugged and versatile inclusion in your armory.
It is made from mild steel – although it is not guaranteed for full-contact combat, it has been designed to take some knocks in stage combat and re-enactment use. It is fully hand-finished throughout, with hand-riveted construction. The interior is leather-lined and features a unique suspension system so that it fits snugly and comfortably all day, and it has a handy chin-strap. The Sky Guard has a detachable visor – it is kept secure in place with attractive chained pins, and also features a locking bar that keeps the visor firmly shut when down. The visor has twelve symmetrical holes drilled into each side of the visor in order to provide better airflow to the wearer, another period-accurate details as well as a very useful addition! It is finished in a lovely satin matte, so bear that in mind when choosing other pieces of our armor to match.
In all, the Sky Guard Helmet is a brilliant piece of armor that has a distinctly fantasy-vibe, but is historically accurate enough to pass muster for even the most stringent re-enactment. It would make for a fantastic guard’s helm, or the helmet of a brave cavalier, as well as a faithful portrayal of a 14th-century continental knight.
(History) A Brief and Brisk Biography of the Bascinet
Keeping your brains in was an eternal preoccupation for knights and soldiers in the medieval period. Helmets made from metal had always been a form of ‘plate’ armor, beaten from one or several plates of bronze, iron and later steel, riveted or welded together. But with the emergence of plate armor in the 14th-century in response to the paucity of chainmail due to the powerful crushing and piercing weapons of the high-medieval period, helms underwent rapid transformation and diversification. The bascinet arrived early and stayed late: early types are visible in the 13th-century, and they didn’t properly drop out of fashion until well into the 1400s CE. It is typified by a high peak or ridge to deflect downward blows, and the all-round covering it gives to the sides and back of the head. It evolved from the cervelliere, a kind of simple close-fitting metal skullcap.
It’s important to realise that medieval head protection often involved many different layers: a 12th-century knight outfitted for battle might be wearing an arming cap, a cervelliere, a mail coif, and a great helm on top. Whilst this does explain why medieval knights often look like bobble-heads in medieval devotional art, it was often very heavy, hot and uncomfortable – better solutions than simply piling on more layers were clearly needed. The suddenness of the appearance of the bascinet in the historical record has led historians and arms expects to theorise that it was the child of the flourishing exchange between the Christian and Muslim worlds, partly or wholly influenced by the Islamic styles of helmet popular in the Middle East which would have been regularly experienced by Franci in the Crusader States.
The bascinet continued to be worn under the great helm, but it began to appear as a standalone visored helmet from around the 1330s CE – this is roughly when one might expect to see the kind of bascinet as our Sky Guard.
Material: Mild steel