Cylindrical shaped helmets appeared approximately from 1180 year. Sometimes they were wider at the bottom. This type of helmet is called Great helm or Topfhelm. It was in use from the mid of the XII till the XIV century. First topfhelms were made to fit closely to the head of knight. Some of them even had an element of visor that could be opened like a small door, with breathing holes. According to searchings of well known Austrian historian Wendelin Boeheim – English and French Great helms of the XIII century were illustrated with the flat dome. At the same time German Great helms had a rounded top of dome.
On the front of the helmet, mostly at the right side, rarely on both sides, there was a cross shaped hole. It was made for a chain that connected Great helm with armor. To avoid the overwarm or in case of needless – the helmet was just hung down. It’s interesting to know that during the second crusade knights started to cover their Topfhelms with a piece of linen cloth. This was supposed to minimize the heating of steel helmets under the sun. Evidently that because of weather factors and long march this clothes was torn on the sides. Thereafter it was developed in so called mantling or lambrequin. Lacerated cover, heraldic figure on the helmet and on the shield became typical attributes of knight dignity.
By the end of the XIII century the top of Topfhelm evolved to a conical shape. At the beginning it was worn upon the chainmail hood and small padded cap. But subsequently, at the end of the XIII century, knights wore the low chalice shaped bascinet under it. This bascinet was equipped with a chainmail. It is also worth mentioning the medieval fashion of different decorative heraldic crests or cimiers. In German they are called “Wappenfigur”. Cimier was made from leather soaked by wax. When medieval craftsman made a certain shape, he glued a canvas upon the leather. Then the cimier had to be covered by whitewash. The last step: drawing by tempera colors or/and gilding. At the beginning cimier served as recognizable mark for other knights to know who is who, since their faces were covered. With the times figures of cimiers became honored and were used as heraldic signs of the knights. Same Wappenfigur were also represented on the shields.
Our Topfhelm is based on the Great helm from Bolzano, 1300 year. It has a flat top riveted on the dome which consists of large plates. On the front there are eye slots and breathing holes. The shape and number of breathing holes can be changed according to your request. Helmet is equipped with leather straps and buckle. You can choose it to be made with or without sewn padded liner. Topfhelm is available to be crafted from mild steel, tempered steel, stainless steel, titanium.