Sallet Helmet: Ultimate Buying Guide

As history tells us that we have been at the cusp of war at all times; as a matter of fact, even currently, there is something going on in the world right now. If the past teaches us anything, it is that one should be ready at all times, and this was the case in 15th century Italy. Thus resulting in manufacturing the safest and most protective and, at the same time, highly functional headgear to be produced in war-torn Europe.

Wars have made us more aware of what we should be prepared for in the coming years because that is what evolving is what it is all about. Hands down, these helmets were one of the most intimidating, aesthetically pleasing, and practical ones to be produced for the front-line warriors.

War and attrition had turned the human mind of medieval times by the 15th century into a battling repertoire. The war armor needed an improvement from the bascinet in terms of mobility and more protection compared to conquistador helmets. This led to the production of this gem of a helmet called Sallet, which also came to be known by different names such as salade and Schaller.

Let us dive deep into the Sallet helmets.

The History of Sallet Helmets:

Having been rooted in the 15th century, the helmet quickly gained prominence on the battlefield and among the warriors mainly because of its ability to provide 360-degree protection to the head. The helmet saw different variations throughout its existence. By the mid-15th century, Germans and English had their variations of helmets, which followed the same concept of providing complete head protection.

The sallet helmets were an upgradation from the bascinet helmets with the addition of a full frontal face cover and the back being covered with the help of an aventail and visor. Having its origins in Italy, the helmet became famous in countries like France, England, and the Netherlands, but Germany was where it made its mark.

The impact of Sallet helmets:

Although comparatively heavier than its successors and predecessors, the helmets came to be very popular in Western Europe in multiple countries, as mentioned above. The design of the helmets became very famous primarily due to their eloquent functionality in terms of mobility, especially for the archers, and freedom to maneuver the additional attachment and accessories like a visor and bevor, which was not quite there with the bascinet helmets and deadly aesthetics.

Soldiers, guards, warriors, front liners, and knights had sallets on to prevent severe damage to the skull or neck, be it from swords, knives, blunt weapons, or even minor firearms that were beginning to gain prominence around that time. These helmets revolutionized the headgear and overall armor and can be attested by the fact that the military helmets used in the world wars had drawn inspiration from the Sallets.

Historians’ Treasure:

Being the major headgear in the mid-15th to late 15th century, the Sallet helmet is nothing short of a work of art that essentially come into existence due to necessity. The different component of the helmet includes the visor, which was made to protect the face, and the bevor made to protect the lower face as well as the neck and chest area. Finally, the back of the helmet is extended and made kind of scoopish and flaring out to offer back movement and protection to the back of the neck.

One of the best features about the Sallets was the fact that they were constructed to deflect the attacks from long-range weapons such as arrows and spears in addition to the melee attacks. The main contributor to doing so was the drawn-out sides and curved ends of the helmets, which were specifically designed to serve this purpose. The artistic depiction imprinted on the Sallet helmets was something that was very well received. All this combined to make these helmets one for the ages and generations to come.

The artistic brilliance of the Sallet goes on to reflect on the incredible skills of the blacksmiths of the yesteryears, who, despite not having the advanced technology we have today, made this fantastic piece of armor.

Types of Sallet helmets you can buy:

Like anything that became popular, Sallet also had multitudes of variations coming from different regions, such as Western and Central European countries. The primary basis of these variations were the additional accessories and protective gears that were attached to these helmets, such as visors and bevor. At the same time, other differences, such as the color and artistic detailing, are also there.

One of the important things you need to understand before buying an antique item such as a Sallet is that replications are also available in numbers in the market, so if you are into the original ones, then make sure to check with the seller beforehand on whether the product is a replica or an original from back in the day.

Following are the different types of Sallets you can buy:

  • Visored French Sallet with Bevor (15th century)
  • Archer Sallet (1430-1480)
  • Visored Sallet with articulated tail
  • Italian Sallet with Visor (Mid-15th century)
  • Italian Crossbowman Sallet (15th century)
  • Austrian Sallet (15th century)
  • German Sallet
  • German Gothic Sallet
  • Burgundian Sallet
  • North Italian Sallet
  • Bellows-faced Sallet helmet
  • Basic Sallet helmet
  • 15th-century Sallet
  • Deep-visored Sallet helmet

Additionally, there are a few more types of Sallet available based on the different coloring and additional designing being put on the helmets:

  • Winged Sallet
  • Blue-winged Sallet with eagle head
  • Sallet with brass leaves
  • Steel finish
  • Dark metal finish
  • Gauge steel finish

Authenticity at its best:

Coming to terms with what has happened can only help in moving forward, and so I feel that one of the best trends is that people are becoming closer and closer to the past with the growing passion for the armor and the artifacts of the past. Due to the ever-increasing interest of the people, the seller of these items is being held more accountable to provide the customer with the authentic item they are looking for, as in the case of the Sallet helmets we are talking about here.

Know what you are looking for:

The helmet you decide to buy should be the one that meets your wishes both in terms of era and culture. In terms of designing and coloring, it is again up to you to find what is best suited for your work, collection, project, reenactment, or whatever it may be.

If you are into collecting past armor, then maybe you can go for the fancy options available as they are aesthetically beautiful. Still, if you are looking to buy one for any school or college work, you must make sure that you pick the historically accurate ones that were actively used back in the day.

Things to keep in mind before buying Sallet helmets:

As with anything you would, you have to double-check the product for quality, durability, and safety. The helmets must not be a fake being sold at the price of an original and if you are buying a replica, then also be sure that the helmets have all the features as promised, such as the cushioning on the inside, no breakage or damage.

Browse multiple websites and online stores to compare the price of the same helmets as it could save you some extra bucks; additionally, be wary of the delivery charges being applied to the product. Try to buy from dedicated and antique item-specific places.

The coloring should not be coming off, and the luster should not be lost. Ensure that you get what you bargained for and that no inferior product is presented to you. The finishing should not be blunt, and the weight, as well as the size of the helmet, is calibrated. The details on the attachment and the helmet itself should be commendable. The adjusted padding lining and the chin strap must work fine too.

The helmet should not be fragile and resistant to chemical changes due to changing environmental factors such as rust-free. In the meantime, it should be able to sustain its color if you wish to clean it every once in a while.

Finishing off:

Finally, it could be said that sallets made the medieval era better both aesthetically and in terms of practicality as well. And it should certainly make your case look better with it rather than without it. Choose the helmets per your needs, and be sure to have them checked in terms of damages and their pricing, meaning they should not be overpriced.