Salade or Sallet helmet

A common type of helmet worn throughout Europe from the early 15th century until the late 16th century. The Sallet varied enormously in style depending on national preferences and ever changing military developments. They were worn by knights, archers and foot soldiers alike. Some Sallets had slitted visors and others were open-faced. This one, which is Gothic in style, is part of a suit of armour and would have been worn in conjunction with a ‘bevor’, which was a piece of armour which protected the throat and face. All Sallets were characterised by a tail which extended backwards to protect the neck and back, causing any blows or arrows to be deflected away. Why this one has such a large, flared tail is unknown, it may have been designed for parade purposes, however, there are medieval diagrams showing large helmets such as this being worn by men scaling siege ladders in the 15th century. There is a possibility that this helmet design may not reflect any intended use at all. The suit of armour to which it belongs seems to have been a reproduction piece produced during the 19th century and the helmet may be nothing more than a Victorian fancy.
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EAAM115a, b
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East Ayrshire Council
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