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Old 19th March 2011, 03:48 AM   #1
pbleed
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Default helmet with the scale armor

Friends. Found together with the scale armor I described to the forum last week was an iron helmet. Please let me show that to the list and request your help. It appears much like a billed cuirasseur's helmet, but I have never handled one of those and this one seems very lightly made. It has a large top hole that shows no signs of ever having been closed. And the bowl is composed of two halves that are hard soldered/brazed together in a "step" or "ladder" seam.
Please share your thoughts.
Peter
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Old 19th March 2011, 05:22 PM   #2
A Senefelder
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Peter, i'm not sure the image attached ( it may also be my computer ) but I cannot see the picture, just a rectagle with the script " attached images " .
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Old 19th March 2011, 07:29 PM   #3
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The same for me.
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Old 20th March 2011, 05:04 PM   #4
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Default another attempt

Friends,
Forgive me for mismanageing this. I see the image when I open the message on the forum, but let's try again. I am eager to get your reactions and insights.
Peter
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Old 20th March 2011, 05:47 PM   #5
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Peter, if you can post a shot or two of the inside it might be helpfull as well. My initial impression of this piece is that it strikes me as looking similar to some of the Shriner and Oddfellow type fraternal helmets of the 19th century ( i've owner a few over the years more as a curiousity than anything else ). I have however never seen one with the open top and have no idea what purpose that might have served. It doesn't show an signs that I can detect in the pic that there was as you mention anything attached ( at least anything metal ) to cover it.
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Old 24th March 2011, 04:46 PM   #6
Jim McDougall
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Im looking forward to more information on these Oddfellow and Shriner type helmetsfrom the latter 19th century. It seems that not only were the flood of fraternal organizations that evolved after the Civil War highly enamoured with neoclassically themed regalia, but similarly themed costumes as well.

While the swords and much of the regalia items have a degree of resource material available to learn more about them, I have found little information on these costumes and ceremonial accoutrements, can anybody out there offer suggestions?

This helmet certainly does seem contrary to anything I have seen worn on the frontiers, and the opening at the top seems to defy any notable purpose. As noted there are no apparant indications that it served as an aperture for placement of any sort of attachment.

According to what is known on the helmet and mantle, they are stated as having been found together c.1870 in a remote location in Texas. They were kept as curiosities and apparantly changed hands several times before finally arriving at a museum. As the provenance of the mantle, and presumably the helmet were in anything but 'static' situation through the changes of ownership and location it would seem possible that they may have come together sometime during this period rather than at the initial find.

Much in the same manner of personal display outside of the focused environment typically presumed in museum context, it seems quite possible that a helmet such as this might have been added to the mantle's 'ensemble' for effect. This would have likely occurred prior to the 1907 news item which described the mantle and helmet and thier arrival in the museum.

The individuals who owned the mantle were all of professional stature, and would have been of the social demographic which would have probably either been involved with fraternal groups or closely associated with those who were.

Now we just need confirmation on such helmets being worn in either fraternal or theatrical context between 1870 and 1907; or even better, discovering evidence of such styled helmets used militarily.
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Old 24th March 2011, 05:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
but similarly themed costumes as well.


Jim back in the 90's I started aquiring alot of these fraternal costumes for use with renfaire costumes and for Halloween use. The variety is simply amazing. Based on the way I encountered them in antique stores ( large numbers of costumes all in one dealers booth ) i'm guessing that they were sold off in lots as either chapters closed or the pagents they were intended for fell by the wayside. They ran the gamit from the loosely historically inspired to the fantastical to the simply silly.
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