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Old 30th July 2018, 07:33 AM   #1
Cathey
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Default Lobster Tail Helmet

Hi Guys

A friend of mine recently purchased a lobster tail helmet that is quite different from the three I already have in my collection. I have assumed it is munitions quality as the lobster tail is not articulated; however some of my reference books refer to this style of lobster tail as being eastern rather than European. Apart from the one piece tail, it also has an unusual cut in the ear piece.

I have been photographing some of my friends collection and as I have not handled one like this before, thought I would post it here for further comment.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 30th July 2018, 10:08 AM   #2
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As the lobster tail is made from one single part and no parts are moveable I cannot see the sence of the three strabs at the insite of the tail - very strange ......
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Old 30th July 2018, 10:41 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
As the lobster tail is made from one single part and no parts are moveable I cannot see the sence of the three strabs at the insite of the tail - very strange ......
corrado26

Stiffeners?
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Old 30th July 2018, 12:08 PM   #4
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These lobster tail helmets were used over a very wide geographical area at a time of intense armament and conflict. They were derived from the Ottoman cicek helmets which were adopted by the lighter Hungarian (medieval territory encompassing a number of nationalities in those days) hussar cavalry. They were then adopted by the Poles (as seen in their famous heavy winged hussar cavalry). The Austrians and Germans adopted them for use in the 30 year war where they were called Zischägge. Then the Dutch and the English (Civil War) adopted them. It can therefore be difficult to assign them to any particular geographic area when they are of a generic shape without identifying maker or arsenal marks.

The fact that the skull piece is rounded, relatively shallow, and consists of two halves riveted together, suggests that it’s a British helmet rather than continental European or E.European. But it’s difficult to tell with such a generic shape. There were heavier sappers’s versions as well which were probably more munitions quality.

There seems to be some shiny remains of gilding at the seam on the back of the helmet? Also, in terms of general interest I think the Prussian pickelhaube developed out of the zischägge.

Last edited by fernando : 30th July 2018 at 01:01 PM. Reason: Links to active auction sites not allowed
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Old 30th July 2018, 01:03 PM   #5
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Victrix, may i suggest that you send those rather elucidative pictures to Cathey by PM. .
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Old 30th July 2018, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Stiffeners?

So they surely are, Wayne.
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Old 30th July 2018, 06:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fernando
Victrix, may i suggest that you send those rather elucidative pictures to Cathey by PM. .


Done! Cathey you have PMs.
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Old 31st July 2018, 09:40 AM   #8
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Default The straps inside!

Hi Guys

The straps inside are leather which I thought odd given the tail is not articulated. However the pictures Vitrex sent me have the same straps inside as this one and the overall helmets appear to be an identical in design.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 31st July 2018, 10:35 AM   #9
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Ah, not stiffners then. Could they be for attaching a padded lining? Ear flaps were I gather, frequently padded along with the suspension/padding for the main part of the head.
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Old 31st July 2018, 01:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
... Could they be for attaching a padded lining? Ear flaps were I gather, frequently padded along with the suspension/padding for the main part of the head.

Well, at a certain stage in one of these helmets description in the Web, it reads:
"... and the neck guard is stamped from a single piece of metal to simulate an articulated version. The edges, retaining rivets, were originally used to secure the lining... "
So ...
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Old 7th August 2018, 01:31 AM   #11
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Did anyone notice the shoddily torn section of visor that the nose guard is shoved through?
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Old 7th August 2018, 09:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helleri
Did anyone notice the shoddily torn section of visor that the nose guard is shoved through?


Impact damage? The whole helmet is a bit fragile looking now.
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Old 7th August 2018, 10:24 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Impact damage? The whole helmet is a bit fragile looking now.
Yeah...Bar is skewed too. Downward blow at an angle that caught the bar? It's got that through nick in the side as well. There is a longer shallower mark that looks like it just managed to split metal right next to that pierce. And a ding on the back that shows as especially bright discoloration on the underside picture (in the dome itself lower lobe). Seams don't look as tight as they probably should be (like they got loosened). Definitely looks like this thing went through at least one good fight. And that there wasn't even an obvious attempt at repair. Maybe that's all it was meant to do. Keep one person alive through one or two encounters. It served it's purpose and was retired? Maybe someone figured they'd fix it someday but the immediate need to never arose? Seems like there is a story there which we can only speculate about. Even so, the empirical evidence does say quite a lot.
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Old 7th August 2018, 10:49 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corrado26
As the lobster tail is made from one single part and no parts are moveable I cannot see the sence of the three strabs at the insite of the tail - very strange ......
corrado26


I'm thinking this is an economy helmet or a rush job. Armor was made in all grades, for all price points just about. Articulated plates vs. A solid piece that looks right from a distance... The latter is probably less of a time sink to make. I think the leather straps are just on the fly spacer bars for rivets that were too tall and there was no time to cut down. Those little square bits are likely what keeps those rivets from tearing through the leather and a rattling around.
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Old 7th August 2018, 11:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helleri
... Definitely looks like this thing went through at least one good fight. And that there wasn't even an obvious attempt at repair. Maybe that's all it was meant to do. Keep one person alive through one or two encounters. It served it's purpose and was retired? ...



Bit like our modern kevlar body armour & it's ceramic insert plates. Made to keep you alive once, then replaced when the kevlar is damaged and the ceramic plate is cracked.

Last edited by kronckew : 7th August 2018 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 8th August 2018, 06:46 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
Bit like our modern kevlar body armour & it's ceramic insert plates. Made to keep you alive once, then replaced when the kevlar is damaged and the ceramic plate is cracked.


The nice thing about sectional armor (as apposed to mono-pieces) is that you can likely have replaced just a brim, lobe, a few rivets or a band relatively quickly (and I'd imagine inexpensively). I wouldn't even doubt it if an armor smith who may very well crank out 10 just like this during a relatively busy couple of days might have ready made components for doing just that.

But looking closer at it. This thing has damage to nearly every section. Some of that damage is within what might be the tolerance of still usable. But so much would have to be replaced on this helmet to bring it back up to like new condition that the original owner may have just opted to get a new helmet. There has to be a point of diminishing returns on repair jobs after all.
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Old 9th August 2018, 02:20 AM   #17
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Default Non Articulated Lobster Tail Helmet

Hi guys
I think the helmet was originally black japanned which having worn does make the helmet appear to be in worse condition than it actually is, however it has certainly seen its share of work.

I would suggest that this we call munitions quality, definitely the less expensive version or trooper cavalry helmet.

I have three others but the difference in quality is very obvious, all having fully articulated lanes and even the three bar in my collection is articulated which often denotes officer quality.

I have actually now purchased this helmet from my friend as I quiet like the strong contrast it represents to the others I have. Also the ear pieces are different as well. I have attached the pictures Vitrix sent as a comparison.
The first one was described as A rare antique mid 17th century Cromwellian Cavalry troopers Lobster tail helmet Zischagge. Details: The scull is made of two pieces with overlapping riveted joints. The peak is with folded edges, incorporating a nasal bar, adjustable by means of a large thumb screw to the front. The cheek pieces are with ventilation holes and the neck guard is stamped from a single piece of metal to simulate an articulated version. The edges, retaining rivets, were originally used to secure the lining. A black lacquered finish overall, in very good condition for its age. Provenance: The previous owner acquired the helmet many years ago from Andrew Bottomley. Catalogue No.7 Page 123 item number 744

The second example is described as Two-piece riveted skull with high crown; one piece neck guard with 4 simulated lames; perforated ear guards. Fixed visor is stamped with a cross and orb mark; sliding nasal bar with stamped "N" and heart-shaped thumb screw to hold it in position. Heavier than most of the German or English zischagge helms. Very good condition with sound leather. This one appears to have had the black japaning removed.

Cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 9th August 2018, 02:22 AM   #18
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Default 2nd example

Here are the pictures of the second example Vitrix supplied, cheers Cathey and Rex
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Old 9th August 2018, 07:43 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cathey
...The cheek pieces are with ventilation holes ...


The holes, I suspect, were not for ventilation but were for allowing for better hearing of orders during noisy encounters.
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Old 9th August 2018, 08:16 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kronckew
The holes, I suspect, were not for ventilation but were for allowing for better hearing of orders during noisy encounters.


Yes, these were the days before Bluetooth technology
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Old 9th August 2018, 08:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Victrix
Yes, these were the days before Bluetooth ...


Bluetooth was around way before the helmet.

Probably best we do not diverge too far tho. Harald the Mod does not like people talking about his tooth.
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Last edited by kronckew : 9th August 2018 at 08:48 PM.
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