Nasal helm

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

The nasal helm is a design of helm that was popular in the late Dark Ages through to the Early Medieval period.

The nasal helm was a form of helm with a domed or raised centre, usually formed around a basic skull-cap design, with a single protruding strip that extended down over the nose to provide additional facial protection. The helm appeared throughout Europe late in the 9th century, and became the predominant form of head protection, replacing the previous pudding-bowl design, and the spectical helm. One of the earliest versions of the nasal helm is the Vasgaard Helm.

The Bayeux Tapestry features many such helms, it being the most popular form of protection at the time. The helm was slowly replaced across the 13th century by helms that provided more facial protection, and although the nasal helm lost popularity amongst the higher classes of knights and men-at-arms, they were still seen amongst archers to whom a wide field of vision was crucial.

Nasal Helms have been found of both one-piece and spangenhelm construction, with the later period helms being made of a single, smooth raised dome to allow weapons to glance off with ease.

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