At the beginning of the 14th century the use of the great helm (helmet comprised of an upper and lower half with an attached cap) over a shorter precursor to the bascinet (helmet which covers the whole head except the face, which is rounded or comes to a point at the top) was worn until about 1350. After this date the great helm was primarily worn in tournaments. As the great helm developed it became more conical in shape at the top and developed a pointed top in order to provide more of a glancing surface.

The sugarloaf great helm was also in use which was similar to the great helm in form but was completely rounded from the eye-slots up.

By 1330 we see the first development of the bascinet worn with a coif (chainmaille hood) and by 1350 the full bascinet had been developed and worn with a chainmaille aventail (drape attached directly to the helmet). At this time the bascinet came to a central point at the top and extended down to the chin. The advent of the visor on the bascinet also occurred at this time pivoting at the center of the forehead with either a triangular piece hanging down to cover nose and mouth or a visor with a round face and protruding eye-slots that covered only the area left uncovered by the aventail.

By 1380 the pointed hound skull visor had been developed. This visor type pivoted at the temples and had pins which could be removed so as to remove the visor. It also covered the entire face opening of the helmet. The shape of the helmet had also changed to a back point leaving a nearly straight line up the back of the helmet.

The kettle hat (similar to a sun hat) which is the helmet most used in history and in fact had been in use even on military helmets of the first world war was also in use during this period. The Kettle hat took several forms either rounded or pointed top, one or two piece skull and the brim being either riveted on or all being one solid piece.

For more information about full bascinet. Click here.