What type of helm should I look for as a 14th century English fighter or 12ty century Norman for heavy fighting?
I had to reach out to some martial types for this answer.
Master Sir Edwin AtteBridge says, “Twelfth century, the famous “norman” conical helm with nasal that we’re all officially wearing in the SCA. 14th century generally bascinet, although kettle hat is also appropriate (but less popular because of SCA handicaps). Inbetween, slowly-evovling “barrel” or “bucket” helms. Basically they took the norman design, started adding a faceplate and covering more of the head, simplifying the construction while they were at it, and when they were done realized that the pointed top they had started with was a better design and went back to an improved version of it. The 13th century is full of dead ends like that.”
“Spotlight: The 14th Century Bascinet” by Alexi Goranov MyArmory.com: [link]
Wikipedia entry: [link] – be sure to look at the Notes and External Links
Image from the Wallace Collection: [link]Visored bascinet Unknown Artist / Maker Milan, Italyc. 1390 – c. 1410 Low-carbon steel, air-cooled, copper alloy and leather Height: 26 cm Width: 37.4 cm, beak to back of skull Weight: 2.005 kg, without visor Weight: 0.82 kg, visor Weight: 1.24 kg, aventail Label: Royal Archaeological Society label marked 25 in ink A69European Armoury I
I reached out the the SCA Garb group on Facebook for more information about the Irish Overdress and a little bit of an SCA History lesson.
First of all, the proper name for the “Irish overdress” is a Shinrone gown, which dates from the 16th century. Reconstructing History has a pattern [link].
Some of the bits of the history lesson are quoted below. I have removed names, since the group is closed.
“’Irish Overdress’ was a RenFaire misinterpretation of some of Lucas De Heere’s prints of Irish Women which was adopted and stuck because there was so little to go on and so little research into Irish clothing. The Shinrone gown has some similarities in appearance but is of a much more complicated construction.”
One such print by Lucas De Heere.
Lady Sorcha Dhocair inghean Ui Ruairc’s packed on Irish women’s garb: [link]
A note on drawstrings and pleated sleeves as relates to the leine: [link]
The Honourable Baroness Ceara Shionnach of Burbage House’s information on Irish clothing: [link] I feel it is important to mention that the “history lesson” part of the discussion included points that one should wear what makes one comfortable, how the SCA culture has changed in regard to authenticity, and not scary new people away. If you want to throw together some garb that can do double duty at RenFaires and SCA, or if you’re trying to stock your Gold Key with something quick and easy, then the “Irish Overdress” that’s available in commercial patterns easily found at your local craft store will work. If you want to portray a 16th century Irish woman, maybe do some more research.
If you’re writing Medieval historical lit or pseudo-medieval fantasy and need a way to name your Jewish side-characters (we were there!) here’s a site that could be of some assistance. This is about the Iberian peninsula, but people travel… and the past thousand years have seen a lot of us being kicked out of various countries so even if your setting isn’t Spain or Portugal, these may still be useful.
Illuminated manuscripts were products of encounter, exchange, and exploration in the Middle Ages.
Interested in the Global Middle Ages? This weekend, April 16 and 17, come by our free interdisciplinary symposium that examines artists, patrons, and audiences as agents who desired real, imagined, or exotic representations and narratives about the world and its peoples.