Military Review


Savoyars were designed to be carried by cuirassiers or heavy cavalrymen of the 17th century. Also this type of helmet was especially good for use in escalade - the assault on the well-fortified walls of an enemy fortress. The name "escalade" comes from the French word ladder, since it was then that the troops used to storm the walls.

Savoyards associated with historical an event that occurred on the night of December 11–12, 1602 (according to the Julian calendar, December 21–22 - according to the Gregorian calendar), when the troops of the Catholic Duke Karl Emanuel I of Savoy tried to storm the fortress walls of the free Calvinist city of Geneva. Many of the mercenaries who stormed the walls of the city wore Savoyards - a specific kind of closed cuirassier helmet that was never seen before in Europe. But Genevites were able to repel the night attack of the Catholics.


Karl Emmanuel I Herzog of Savoy

Since then, every year, in the beginning of December, the Swiss canton city of Geneva organizes a colorful celebration festival called Escalade, dedicated to the triumph of its citizens over the enemy. The Genevans triumphed with the help of both their skilful artillery and the skillful use of cold weapons. Among the captured loot, Savoyars were taken from the killed and captured condottieri from the army of the Duke of Savoy.

Annual Escalade Celebration in Geneva

The helmet of Savoyard (from fr. Savoyard - Savoyard) in the shape of a round head, formed together in two parts along a low ribbed central ridge. Place of production Northern Italy. Made at the very end of the XVI or early XVII century. Dimensions: height 32 x width 25 x length 25 cm.

The helmet for improved protection is equipped at the bottom with a nearly flat collar plate (necklace), round in shape, with evenly spaced lining rivets made of brass. In addition to protecting the neck, this design was used to absorb shocks from above, on the head.

The flat, curved in the form of the head visor of the Savoyard has two viewing slits in the shape of the almond-shaped eyes and a prominent nose with two holes for breathing. At the bottom of the visor is a grinning mouth with seven round holes to improve ventilation.

There are also four holes in the ear, perhaps not only for ventilation, but also to hear better. Above the viewing slots there is a protective visor.

In general, a grotesque-simplified semblance of a cheerful face is obtained.

The visor can be easily raised. In the case of a threat, the visor can be quickly lowered, completely protecting the face. In the lowered position, the visor is fixed with a hook on the right side.

The lower part consists of two hinged drop-down halves, forming a single unit with the front part of the collar plate. Halves are fixed in front of the collar plate with a crochet hook.

It should be noted that, despite the past centuries, the Savoyard mechanism functions perfectly, all the parts fit snugly together, nothing is loose.

It is not precisely known whether this Savoyard was captured as a trophy during the unsuccessful assault of Geneva. But since from the very beginning of the XVII century. he is in Geneva, you can make a cautious assumption that he was captured. In this case, without having the slightest idea of ​​the previous owner of this Savoyard, one can only answer with certainty one question, where he was in the night from 11 to 12 in December of 1602.
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  1. Igor39
    Igor39 April 29 2014 08: 12
    That's where the emoticon was copied from.
  2. KuigoroZHIK
    KuigoroZHIK April 29 2014 08: 32
    The author, thank you for your work. Continue in the same spirit!
    1. Igor39
      Igor39 April 29 2014 08: 38
      I would also like to read about throwing weapons.
      1. cdrt
        cdrt April 29 2014 12: 42
        Thanks to the author for the article.
        Very interesting.
        Go on :-)
  3. Free wind
    Free wind April 29 2014 08: 37
    I didn’t even hear about such a name. Now, looking at the article, I thought, well, I’ve just smiled. you noticed it too. And yet that knightly helmet. will be prettier. And yet, thanks to these articles about medieval weapons, I am convinced that there were ways to protect metal from corrosion. and it’s not only lubrication and proper care. A series of articles is very interesting !!!!!! Thank you very much.
    1. Mikhail3
      Mikhail3 April 29 2014 13: 21
      Well, it’s most likely by accident laughing Along with the ore, impurities inherent in this deposit fall into the furnace, or even the pebbles lying next to it are to blame. It was unlikely that these were any special measures. Oh, how lucky anyone is.
      However, luck also happens in a different way - everywhere in Japan there was only disgusting iron ore. Ancient samurai katanas have such waste that it’s just hard to believe. Well, the Japanese developed the technique of owning a sword, which practically eliminated power blocks - because the swords could not stand them!
      And yes, thanks to the author, the article is interesting.
  4. Boudallino
    Boudallino April 29 2014 08: 41
    Very informative Thanks to the author smile
  5. DAGESTAN333
    DAGESTAN333 April 29 2014 09: 23
    The beauty! Thanks to the author!
  6. Alex_T
    Alex_T April 29 2014 10: 15
    This model, in my opinion, is more suitable for blows from above and from the side to the head than the previous one, with a movable neck. Although this helmet is of little use from frontal blows with a spear, the visor and "nose" will direct the tip straight into the eye socket.
    1. PAM
      PAM April 29 2014 11: 23
      as they say the most dangerous blow is the one you don’t see. There is protection against hitting from above and on the back of the head, but in front you can fend off or dodge (do not take a spear with a visor smile ) Respect to the author.
    2. Vyalik
      Vyalik April 29 2014 12: 33
      Quote: Alex_T
      Although this helmet is of little use from frontal blows with a spear, the visor and "nose" will direct the tip straight into the eye socket.

      You probably mean a knight’s helmet in the form of a beak or I don’t remember the name of this type of wedge in front. But in this helmet it’s not easy to climb the stairs. There is very limited visibility. And this helmet is just designed for battle, when the main thing is to protect your head from blows from above and partially from the side. And from the arrows, too, in my opinion, it will not protect much.
      1. cth; fyn
        cth; fyn April 30 2014 07: 53
        What arrows? 17th century, it’s time to defend against bullets there, by the way decent armor withstood falling from the bombard from 30 meters
        1. Moore
          Moore 22 May 2014 12: 23
          Of the bombards - could not stand it, becauseB. - A fairly heavy artillery gun.
          And archers, for example in England, were canceled just 17 years before the events described, so the probability of getting an arrow or a crossbow bolt from the wall, I think, remained for a long time. From here it seems that the face is still protected, but the holes for the eyes are already wider.
          This helmet is concrete, more from chopping strikes.
  7. Takashi
    Takashi April 29 2014 11: 27
    I can write from experience that 7 small holes for breathing are very, very few. If there is still enough for inhalation, then for exhalation - the abs is not enough, as a result, CO2 goes up and starts to go out through the holes for the eyes. After some time, you have to rest in order to bring your breathing back to normal.
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 30 2014 07: 57
      so it opened the visor and that's it, it’s not always necessary, but with such a helmet, and even more so, while you stomp to the wall you can open it (the body tilted forward and that's all, invulnerable) the battle ended, it opened, the enemy saw shut
  8. Ruslan 56
    Ruslan 56 April 29 2014 11: 31
    Very informative. We are waiting for new articles.
  9. Free wind
    Free wind April 29 2014 12: 01
    Where's the rest of the armor? What was he like? I hope this helmet was not worn without the rest. By the way, on the head of the owner. more than once flew in, dents on the helmet on the right side. But there are no chopping blows. Looks like they beat him with stones and clubs, in short, the militia beat this warrior.
  10. Peacemaker
    Peacemaker April 29 2014 14: 28
    Seeing THIS, I remembered the iron man from the wizard of the country of the lake. I can imagine what a terrible sight these smiling heads were climbing the wall! Apparently they were counting on this. Well done Zhenevets that were not scared and stood firm. Thanks to the author. Even from antiquity, you can dig up the first Chinese rockets, bazookas and dirty "smelly bombs" filled with feces ... well, these are suggestions ...
  11. Good cat
    Good cat April 29 2014 17: 00
    I can imagine how the owner of the helmet felt after being hit with a club or a good club. Moderate concussion
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 30 2014 08: 02
      but alive, no matter how you twist the broken skull is worse
  12. Free wind
    Free wind April 29 2014 19: 05
    ABRACADABRA? You will help? I do not agree with you all, but I appreciate your statements!
  13. The comment was deleted.
  14. Negative
    Negative April 29 2014 19: 50
    in our time it’s interesting to be able to forge this?
    1. cth; fyn
      cth; fyn April 30 2014 08: 01
      They can not only forge, but also sell. now all sorts of amateurs are completely divorced, and taking into account that the cost of full armor reaches 200 thousand, it means that the welfare of the people is growing, since there is a lot of money for such an expensive hobby.
  15. Azaat
    Azaat April 29 2014 20: 27
    I finally found out how to wear these helmets.
  16. Mkhitar
    Mkhitar April 29 2014 20: 48
    Thanks to the author of the article. Interestingly, similar "bags for the head" were forged in various sizes to order, or strictly according to the standard? Considering that armor and weapons cost a fortune, the Savoyards most likely were made to measure from the head of the customer. For example, the owners of large noses probably needed a special approach.
  17. cth; fyn
    cth; fyn April 30 2014 08: 18
    It looks like aramet, only the crest is not so hypertrophied and the lower part of the visor does not rise upward but diverges to the sides, and the infantry visor also.
    1. tomket
      tomket April 30 2014 10: 59
      I wonder how the length of the neck was adjusted?)
      1. PAM
        PAM April 30 2014 14: 25
        laughing no way under the helmet parameters grew from youth (a joke). The wealthy could afford the armor (custom work), so they adjusted the physiological data.
        1. cth; fyn
          cth; fyn April 30 2014 18: 02
          in the online store "Forge" there is a small FAQ so there is an article about armor and it is stated that a good mercenary could save up for a reservation in 20 days (subject to austerity)
          For the elite, full armor was made individually. Most of the armor was bought “as is”, but some armor was customized for the individual owner. The cost of armor varied greatly depending on the era and place, and included both the cost of manufacture and the cost of decoration of the armor. In the 8th century, chain mail cost 12 oxen; by 1600, the rider's armor cost 2 ox. Typical full plate armor cost approximately £ 1 in the 14th century in England, with a warrior earning about 1 shilling per day in the same period. Thus, the armor cost approximately earnings for 20 days of service.

          1. Logos
            Logos 4 May 2014 16: 34
            From the 8th century to the 14th and then the 16th - there is too much variation due to the fact that a major technological leap took place in Europe in the 15th-16th centuries: shtukofen was invented, which allows smelting huge amounts of metal in comparison with previous furnaces, the price of metal fell sharply . and the new organization of factories made it possible to drastically reduce the cost of production of weapons and armor
  18. Signaller
    Signaller 8 May 2014 15: 43
    Of course, the thing may have been good once, but by today's standards, one hit on this Savoyard with a baseball bat can lead to sad consequences. Well, when finished with a real crowbar, it’s generally fatal. Maybe they have all noble bloods in France, but they hit it in the face, if the enemy, albeit in a mask. Summary-so-a toy for an over-age child, no more. Really, nothing good, just a picture for an avatar.
    1. Logos
      Logos 15 May 2014 09: 14
      Did you personally hold this type of helmet in your hands and test it for strength or did you make an examination of its photo without getting up off the couch?
  19. svdshka
    svdshka 13 May 2014 20: 52
    for maidan will go with a bang
  20. Dimas59
    Dimas59 25 May 2014 12: 06
    Maybe not in the subject, on the extreme photo there seem to be numbers "7" and "0" and it looks like "26" in front of them, what will the respected gurus say about this, it hurts too modern branding, if this is it ....?