Sunday, 6 December 2015


Been a good, busy week (so far). On Thursday we lunched with old friends of ours who live near Lavenham. Telling John (who is a keen gardener) about the wild violets in flower in our garden. John then took me into his garden and showed me, in a sheltered corner, primroses in flower !!! It's been a weird autumn.

 On Friday morning, which was a lovely, mild, sunny  morning had a walk through Saint Mary's Churchyard, and took these three snaps.

The Church above has the second longest nave in Suffolk (which is a county of fine, large churches). The longest nave in Suffolk beats us by about three and a half inches (I'm told - I've never measured them!)


                                                  MYSTERY OBJECT.

The above and below object has TWO commonly used names, one of them is rather misleading. Can you tell me both of them, please. And also, what it is,  where it was made, when it was made, and any other details you can see from the two pictures.



I foresee rather  a busy few days ahead, but I will answer any comments on the 'Mystery Object' whenever I find a few minutes to spare.

Goodnight All.


Crowbard said...

Hi Mike, it is a helmet of the type known as a cabasset, it is of a quite plain and utilitarian style worn by infantry or pikemen. They were popular in the 16th and 17th centuries. I've heard them referred to as a 'pikeman's pot' but I believe this term was used more of the morion or kettle-hat style helmet (chapel-de-fer in France).
It is clear your specimen has seen serious action, which I doubt the wearer survived as it carries a couple of serious sword or axe dings which could have felled the wearer and three penetrating blows which could have proved fatal.
It is quite similar to the archer's spangenhelm but that did not have a brim.

Crowbard said...

PS the circle of rivets just above the brim may have secured a reinforcing ring attached to an adjustable leather or cloth liner.

paul cully said...

Which position would it normally be in, open side up or down or as you show it in the first picture sideways. Not that your answer will be of any use to me, but I just had to get ahead of old Crowbard.

Mike and Ann said...

Hello Paul. Nice to hear from you. The mystery object would have been worn open side down - on the head in other words.
Hello Crowbard, It is, as you say, a helmet. It has two different names - a 'Spanish' Morion, which is misleading, as they were usually made in Northern Italy, or Germany. They were exported to most parts of Northern Europe. The other name is a Cabasset. They usually date from around 1580 to 1620. This one, as you say, has seen a good deal of action, but would still give a fair amount of defence in any sort of punch-up.

By the way Crowbard, after our very pleasant couple of days away, we got home about two o'clock this afternoon. Our love and thanks to you both.
Warm regards, Mike and Ann.

Mike and Ann said...

P.s. I should have said 'a fair amount of protection.......'.

Crowbard said...

It was wonderful to see you both and chew over old-times again, hope you had a pleasant journey home.
I like your use of the word 'defense' it reminds one that at a pinch they could also be used in attack; at need a head-but in the stomach with a cabasset could dissuade or distract an attacker for long enough to gain an advantage.

Sorry young Cully, I would have waited if I'd known you wanted first dibs ~ good to hear from you anyway.

paul cully said...

Not so young as you might think,Crowbard my chum, as I have come to think of you.

paul cully said...

I meant of course, my nemesis, but with your powers of erudition you'd probably already sussed that out.

Crowbard said...

PS Mike, Judy sends her love and says how good it was to be with you both and thank you for coming as we now have a mountain of left-overs to munch through. She is particularly enjoying the cheeses...

Not at all Paul, I'm honoured to be considered your chum and flattered to be considered your nemesis...

I'll try to wait and be politer,
refrain from being eruditer.