Helmet Making Projects

Europa has now had workshop several days constructing new helmets for members and trying to make new helmets within the club. So far a lot of modern tools have been used, to cut steel and form pieces though several are made based on spun domes we have tried to use accurate construction and base the helmets on Viking period originals.

Hungarian Helmet

One of the First helmets made within the club is based on a European helmet in a private in France and is very similar to a well known helmet from Pecs Hungary though a lot cruder in construction. I believe there is also a third helmet of similar appearance. The details of the helmet are quoted as: Hungarian/Magyar, 10th/11th centuries. Conical iron skull made of four riveted segments. There are narrow decorative bronze engraved bands riveted on the curved edges of the plates. Riveted top plate with a round plume socket. There are lining holes around the lower edge as well as four riveted rings for fastening the mail coif. Cleaned excavation discovery. It comes with two pictures showing it in the condition as originally found. Height 22 cm.


The original helmet

The similar Helmet from pecs


The reconstruction
This was one of the first helmets reconstructed and was made from a spun dome cut into 4 sections riveted together. 2 halves were scalloped along the edge and had scalloped strips of brass (bronze on the original) inserted between the pieces. It had a t shaped cap on the top of the pieces and a hollow peak that could have been used to hold a plume.

The finished helmet is a very similar height, though made to fit me, and has a mail aventail suspended from a wire held to the helmet by metal loops.


The completed helmet.

The Gjermundbu helmet

As the only Viking period helmet from Scandinavia the Gjermundbu helmet is an ideal basis for a reconstruction for our period. Though it does seem to be a slightly earlier helmet it is deposited in a grave in approximately 970ad, as some of the other equipment was quite modern at that time it may have been an heirloom. The helmet had seen use in combat and has evidence of weapon damage. It is now held in Museum of National Antiquities (Oldsaksamlinga) in Oslo.


the original helmet


The Original helmet was constructed rather strangely with internal and external bands sandwiching the 4 domed plates. These were riveted to a broad band with spectacle like eye guards. It also had a short spike on the top of the helmet.


The eye guards had incised line decorations that were thought to have originally had inlay that may have been lost in the cremation of the burial though recent tests have found no trace of copper alloy or material other than iron.

Our reconstructions
Unfortunately none of our helmets have been constructed accurately though we have put bands inside and out to simulate the original method and we made an effort to include the smaller details of the helmet such as the size of the bands, the ridge along the brow band and placement of the rivets. I included a mail aventail on mine as several rings were found fastened to the helmet band.

 


The original helmet was found in 9 separate fragments and may well have been pieced back together incorrectly. But both our reconstructions are reconstructed using similar arrangements to other period helmets.

Wenceslas helmet

A helmet replica still under construction is a helmet based on the Wenceslas helmet. Found in Prague and dated to the 10th century, it was a dome raised in one piece with a browband and decorated nasel riveted on.
The original helmet


the original helmet.

reconstruction pictures coming


Thanks to Eric Laird and Trevor Smee for use of their workshop faciliies