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Construction of a classic armet (c. 1490), it is fitted with a wrapper and aventail, and the method of opening the helmet is shown

The Armet is a type of helmet which was developed in the 15th century. It was extensively used in Italy, France, England, the Low Countries, Spain and Hungary. It was distinguished by being the first helmet of its era to completely enclose the head while being compact and light enough to move with the wearer. Its use was essentially restricted to the fully armoured man-at-arms.

Appearance and origins[edit]

Armet of an English Greenwich armour c. 1585. The method of locking the cheek-pieces can be seen at the chin: a swivel-hook engages a pierced staple. The lower edge of the helmet has a gutter-like rim which engages with a flange running around the upper edge of the gorget.

As the armet was fully enclosing, and narrowed to follow the contours of the neck and throat, it had to have a mechanical means of opening and closing to enable it to be worn. The typical armet consisted of four pieces: the skull, the two large hinged cheek-pieces which locked at the front over the chin, and a visor which had a double pivot, one either side of the skull. The cheek-pieces opened laterally; when closed they overlapped at the chin, fastening by means of a spring-pin which engaged in a corresponding hole, or by a swivel-hook and pierced staple. A multi-part reinforcement for the bottom half of the face, known as a wrapper, was sometimes added; its straps were protected by a metal disc at the base of the skull piece called a rondel. The visor attached to each pivot via hinges with removable pins, as in the later examples of the bascinet. This method remained in use until c. 1520, after which the hinge disappeared and the visor had a solid connection to its pivot. The earlier armet often had a small aventail, a piece of mail attached to the bottom edge of each cheek-piece.[1]

The earliest surviving armet dates to 1420 and was made in Milan.[2] An Italian origin for this type of helmet therefore seems to be indicated. The innovation of a reduced skull and large hinged cheek pieces was such a radical departure from previous forms of helmet that it is highly probable that the armet resulted from the invention of a single armourer or soldier and not as the result of evolution from earlier forms.[3]

Use and variations[edit]

An armet with a German form of construction, but possibly of Florentine, Italian, manufacture (notice that it opens in a manner different from that of a classic armet).

The armet reached the height of its popularity during the late 15th and early 16th centuries when western European full plate armour had been perfected. Movable face and cheek pieces allowed the wearer to close the helmet, thus fully protecting the head from blows. The term armet was often applied in contemporary usage to any fully enclosing helmet, however, modern scholarship draws a distinction between the armet and the outwardly similar close helm on the basis of their construction, especially their means of opening to allow them to be worn. While an armet had two large cheekpieces hinged at the skull and opened laterally, a close helm instead had a kind of movable bevor which was attached to the same pivot points as its visor and opened vertically.[4]

The classic armet had a narrow extension to the back of the skull reaching down to the nape if the neck, and the cheekpieces were hinged, horizontally, directly from the main part of the skull. From about 1515 the Germans produced a variant armet where the downward extension of the skull was made much wider, reaching as far forward as the ears. The cheekpieces on this type of helmet hinged vertically on the edges of this wider neck element.[5] The high quality English Greenwich armours often included this type of armet from c. 1525. Greenwich-made armets adopted the elegant two-piece visor found on contemporary close helmets; armets of this form were manufactured until as late as 1615. The lower edge of such helmets often closed over a flange in the upper edge of a gorget-piece. The helmet could then rotate without allowing a gap in the armour that a weapon point could enter.[6]

Comparison of close helm and armet in open position. Note the close helm uses a single pivot point for the double visor and bevor, while the armet has hinged cheek plates that lock in place.

The armet is found in many contemporary pieces of artwork, such as Paolo Uccello's "Battle of San Romano," and is almost always shown as part of a Milanese armor. These depictions show armets worn with tall and elaborate crests, largely of feathered plumes; however, no surviving armets have similar crests and very few show obvious provision for the attachment of such crests.[7]

The armet was most popular in Italy, however, in England and Western Europe it was widely used by men-at-arms alongside the sallet, whilst in Germany the latter helmet was much more common. It is believed that the close helm resulted from a combination of various elements derived from each of the preceding helmet types.


  1. ^ Oakeshott, pp. 118-121
  2. ^ Oakeshott, p. 118
  3. ^ Oakeshott, p. 118
  4. ^ Oakeshott p. 121
  5. ^ Oakeshott p. 123
  6. ^ Gravett, pp. 20, 62
  7. ^ Oakeshott, pp. 119-120


  • Gravett, Christopher (2006) Tudor Kight. Osprey Publishing, London.
  • Oakeshott, Ewart (1980) European Weapons and Armour. From Renaissance to the Industrial Revolution. Lutterworth Press ISBN 0-85115-789-0.

Жуков К.А. Armet a rondelle. Функциональное назначение одной детали шлемов позднего средневековья. http://mreen.org/OZRclub/armet-a-rondelle-funkcionalnoe-naznachenie-odnoy-detali-shlemov-pozdnego-srednevekovya_2.html

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76 news items

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Sat, 13 Sep 2014 04:48:45 -0700

Tom Armet, the RDN's manager of building and bylaw services, said the issue will be discussed at a UCBM meeting later this month. "The board has the view that any time the province takes away authority (from the regional districts and other ...
Law360 (subscription)
Wed, 27 Aug 2014 17:51:13 -0700

and Armet diverted the funds to pay personal expenditures,” Judge Kiser wrote. “In other words, when Whyte and Armet told the government they needed $1 million to manufacture the vehicles, they lied. That lie was for the sole purpose of inducing the ...
Orlando Sentinel
Thu, 11 Sep 2014 18:30:12 -0700

The new vehicle will replace an Armet F550 Tactical Transporter that Orlando bought in 2006 for $92,000. Mina said he's sensitive to the perception of military-style equipment. But armored vehicles can be used during hostage negotiations, or to rescue ...
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Law360 (subscription)
Wed, 03 Sep 2014 07:24:42 -0700

Armet, a case my firm is currently litigating in the Western District of Virginia, provides an example of where FCA jurisprudence is heading if the particularity pleading requirements are not reigned in. In this case, the plaintiff, Skinner, possesses ...
Albuquerque Journal
Thu, 21 Aug 2014 10:40:58 -0700

Wewerka, in fact, obtained the building's original drawings from the famed California architecture firm, Armet Davis Newlove, that designed it as a Denny's in 1964. The Gravy buildout restored some of the original features but incorporates custom ...
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Sun, 24 Aug 2014 00:30:00 -0700

Other champions taking part in the Grand Parade included previous winners Clive Storey, light horse champion and donkey champion Claire Armet, from Heriot, as well as dog champion Sheila Hogg, from Lindean. John Elliot, of Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, ...


Mon, 25 Aug 2014 14:56:15 -0700

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