´Avant´ Armet

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Description of the Product

“Avant” armour is the oldest near-complete armour in the world. It hails originally from the celebrated Churburg Castle and is dated to around 1445. The armour has a typical northern-Italian rounded appearance. It is robust with large smooth surfaces which would help to deflect weapons and missiles. The Avant armour is the epitome of Milanese armour technology and design, combined to create armour both aesthetically pleasing as well as functional. Currently the Avant armour is displayed with a barbute helmet, but originally the set included an armet. This piece is therefore a must for any reenactor willing to finish their "Avant" set.

Armet is a helmet made up of four pieces: a skull reinforced on the forehead, two cheek plates attached with hinges to the skull and a visor. As a secondary face defence to guard the neck, hinges, seams and the lower face, a gorget-type construct called the wrapper was often added. It also prevented the visor from being struck open. As the armet was fitted very closely to the shape of the neck and chin, it was necessary to develop a side opening system to allow this close fit. Cheek plates were hinged and secured together with a hook or wire to make sure they wouldn’t open on the battlefield.

The armet slowly replaced the great bascinet towards the latter part of the 15th century on war fields, as it was both lighter and allowed for greater mobility of the head. Armet also partly replaced the sallet and the chapel de fer, as it gave better protection. Armets were widely used in Italy, France, England and Spain until the 16th century and some variations can be found as late as 1620.

This graceful armet has a sparrow beak visor, and the matching wrapper specifically developed for this armet is included. The original Avant armet is at the Royal Armouries in Leeds (IV 498) but the wrapper hasn’t survived. A similar armet with the wrapper intact is at the Metropolitan museum of art in New York (20.150.1a, b)

The steel scull is made of 2 mm steel and other parts of 1.6 mm steel.  Steel thickness may vary due to the handcrafted methods used in manufacturing. Weight 3.2 kg. Made by Marshall Historical.
Leather chin strap is included. Circumference approximately 63-64 cm.

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