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Generous Size – This helmet has an outer circumference of 72.2 cm, and a width of 22 cm (internal width of 21.1cm) the length being 25.2 cm, this means that if you take a medium hat size (57), you can wear a regular arming cap and a chain mail coif beneath this helmet, if you take a large hat size (up to 62) you will still be able to wear a thinner style arming cap with this helmet or it will make a comfortable fit worn by itself and the nasal guard won’t be skinning your nose every time you put it on.
Initially nasal helmets were formed of four triangular pieces of metal plate riveted in a ring, secured by bands which met at the apex. This produced a good-looking helmet, but when it was concluded that all those bands and rivets gave an enemy’s blade something to catch into, it became outmoded. A smooth dome makes for a structurally stronger helmet with superior deflection. It would be wrong to say that riveted and banded helmets were quickly replaced, as they were still used well into the 14th century, but the advantages of a smooth helmet were too apparent and by the end of the Middle Ages all helmets were made without bands and protruding rivets. Personally I feel that the nasal guard was an excellent attachment to any helmet. (We should draw a distinction between the helmet and the helm. The former is, of course, a diminutive of the latter.) The nasal guard did not hinder vision, yet it guarded against having one’s nose broken, getting an arrow between the eyes (instant death) and offered protection against a sword slash to the face. Nevertheless, for reasons which I can’t determine, the nasal guard was only popular up until the early Middle Ages. It is most closely identified with the Normans, Vikings and Anglo-Saxons, but it was neverthless common throughout Europe.
This helmet is a reproduction of a conical helm worn by Wenceslaus I, now on display in Prague Castle in the Czech Republic. While the skull of the original is a cone raised from a single sheet of steel, our reproduction was produced through modern welding techniques out of 12 ga. mild steel to keep costs low for the client. Like the original, the helmet features a simple brow band and a decorated nasal riveted to the front. The original was probably worn over a maille coif, as shown on the Bayeux Tapestry, providing protection to the back of the head and neck. Wenceslaus I (ca. 907-935) was the duke of Bohemia from 921 until his assassination in 935, possibly by his own brother, Boleslav the Cruel. Wenceslaus’s martyrdom gave rise to a cult due to his heroic goodness during his reign. He was elevated to Sainthood by the Catholic Church and is the patron saint of the Czech saint. The Christmas song, “Good King Wenceslas” was written about him in 1853.