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German Siege Helmet, ca. 1630

The Thirty Years War was a brutal conflict fought primarily in the German States. Many
towns and fortresses were besieged and destroyed. Crucial to these actions were the
sappers, or siege engineers, who had the dangerous job of getting close to the walls and
undermining them with various means of breaching them. This brought them under
direct fire from virtually every weapon in the arsenal of the besieged; including boiling oil,
rocks, fire, and guns of all types. To help protect them they wore very heavy padded
bulletproof armor. This heavy siege helm, weighing 11.25 pounds, has a hemispherical
skull with shallow medial ridge; with riveted iron brims front and rear and large ear
protectors. It retains its original lining of linen and leather, filled with horsehair padding.
It also maintains much of its original blackened finish. Bullet test mark above left
temple. This type helm was also used in the English Civil War. It survives in such
excellent original condition due to its being kept ready for use for centuries in one of the
many town arsenals in Germany. Priced below incomplete examples offered by other
A1007 $2995

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