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Old 31st July 2021, 04:01 PM   #1
10thRoyal
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Default Thoughts on burgonet construction

I recently picked up a burgonet at an estate auction that was simply labeled as a "metal helmet" but it looked more interesting then the name suggested. The construction is a bit interesting with the helmet formed in two pieces plus the neck lame. The two halfs are rolled at the brim an folded and brazed at the side of the comb which I found odd. The interior is painted black with a bit of leather lining still present around the crown. Only markings I have found are a "2" stamp on one half of the helmet and the letters "HC" painted on each of the ear pieces. I believe it is a legitimate piece from the late 1500's or early 1600's Germany but am curious what y'all think regarding age, authenticity, and origin.
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Old 1st August 2021, 11:01 PM   #2
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that is pressed metal, not hammered, I'm afraid its 19th century.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 02:34 PM   #3
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Damn Victorian copies. Oh well, live and learn. Still an amateur collector. I put too much stock in those painted markings it seems.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 09:40 PM   #4
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You learned from it, so see it as a good investement !
We all have payed the price for learning, and those who did not, haven't learned a.... its just not possible to learn the hardware from books alone , thats only half the work. Books help for academic knowledge , hands on experience for hardware knowledge.
There are no shortcuts either, it takes decades no matter your background or budget and some never develop the finesse, there are however different fields and time will tell were you'r talent lies.
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Old 2nd August 2021, 11:37 PM   #5
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Well, at least it's Victorian and not an outright falsely aged fake. These are still collectable and have value, just not as much as the 'real deal'!
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Old 2nd August 2021, 11:45 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M ELEY View Post
Well, at least it's Victorian and not an outright falsely aged fake. These are still collectable and have value, just not as much as the 'real deal'!
You make a good point. I didn't pay a huge amount for it so I could probably make a couple bucks on it, but I won't be adding it to my collection. As for a learning material its not half bad. More than the "metal helmet" it was marked as, less than 16th century burgonet I hoped it was. Still just learning one step at a time.

Now learn me this, what are the painted letters on the ears? Now I am just plain curious.

And thank y'all for the input and expertise.
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Old 3rd August 2021, 06:53 AM   #7
Jim McDougall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10thRoyal View Post
You make a good point. I didn't pay a huge amount for it so I could probably make a couple bucks on it, but I won't be adding it to my collection. As for a learning material its not half bad. More than the "metal helmet" it was marked as, less than 16th century burgonet I hoped it was. Still just learning one step at a time.

Now learn me this, what are the painted letters on the ears? Now I am just plain curious.

And thank y'all for the input and expertise.

10th,
A lot of these items are not only baronial smoking room decorations, but often can be theatrical props. There was quite an industry of making these costume and prop items in the Victorian period, and before the use of plastics etc. many of these were quite well made.
The letters and numbers may have been administrative and/or inventory numbers etc.
I have researched a number of items which had all appearances of authenticity which turned out to be in this category.
These still make great decorators, and as often noted, they are still antiques in their own right.
Many of the Victorian reproductions by Ernst Schmidt of Munich were so well done they ended up in museums.

I think you could turn this by representing it in accord with its genuine antiquity as there are collectors who are interested in this type items.

As for the Schmidt arms, there was a book put out years ago by Mowbray publishing on 'The Atelier of Ernst Schmidt of Munich' (1967)which was a history and catalog of his works which compared his items to the authentic pieces they were modelled after. This offers a great learning tool for recognizing authentic items and the nuances in differences. I think Amazon might have it.
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Old 3rd August 2021, 03:06 PM   #8
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As Jim said, it's an antique on its own and these do have value depending on their quality.
It's more than just a steel helmet, and a nice model to in close resemblance to the original one. As for the letters in the ears, it could very well be from a stock of a theatre or prop rental.
I remember a few decades ago when a theatre prop rental sold out there even were some original items in their stock, these things still happen.
That's what makes our passion so exiting, and some armours of Ernst Schmid have sold as high as original ones. This one was sold for 54,675 at Christies in 2013 and it was described correct as early 20th C Ernst Schmidt.
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Old 3rd August 2021, 08:42 PM   #9
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Default Replicas ? thanks, but no thanks.

You may always find a noveau riche paying a fortune for a replica. Yet no magic lamp genious will turn the thing into the real deal .
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Old 4th August 2021, 02:25 PM   #10
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I might have to pick up a copy of The Atelier of Ernst Schmidt of Munich just for reference. It sounds like things aren't all bad. The funds from this helmet can go to buying a piece with a more concrete claim to authenticity.
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Old 4th August 2021, 05:28 PM   #11
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In my opinion quality reproductions need to be studied just as intensely as originals. To think one would be able to recognise them without studying them is a bit naive.
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Old 4th August 2021, 05:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 10thRoyal View Post
I might have to pick up a copy of The Atelier of Ernst Schmidt of Munich just for reference. It sounds like things aren't all bad. The funds from this helmet can go to buying a piece with a more concrete claim to authenticity.
At 'MyArmoury' online, they have two articles that you can read on their site both on Shmidt. As mentioned Amazon has the book. It would be well worth your while to follow up via that route.
As Ulfberht notes, much can be learned from studying these reproductions as often a great deal of attention taking from originals had to be taken.

While the topic of reproductions here is not part of the discussion theme, the site mentioned does get involved with those aspects.
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Old 10th August 2021, 03:19 PM   #13
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I ended up getting in contact with a museum curator to talk about ways to identify Victorian repros from originals. It seems that ulfberth was right on focusing on metal texture and signs of forming method, and that yes lettering on armor can be arsenal marks but they can just as locally have been added by a theater production company. I also didn't consider how "modern" the calligraphy of the painted lettering was. So all in all a good educational experience. I found it funny that he agreed that my piece was most likely a reproduction.... but he wouldn't put money on that unless he got to see it in person. So no matter what, it is always a bit of a gamble.
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