If you are 'new' to the Civil Wars there are a number of technical helmet names bandied around by authors and gamers. At the risk of turning into the Ian Allan* armour spotters guide, here is a guide to the different types of helmet commonly used by soldiers during the Civil Wars.
Pikeman's pot, is a bit of a catch all as there are several types of helmet used by pikemen.
The cabascet/cabasset. An older style of helmet, still made in the seventeenth century. Easily spotted by the 'aerodynamic' go faster spoiler at the top of the helmet.
|On display at the Nantwich Museum, from the Grosvenor Museum Collection|
The morion. Another older style of helmet, anyone who watched episodes of The Flashing Blade during the school summer holidays in the 1970s will be familiar with this style of helmet - those dastardly Spanish wore them.
|A really rubbish picture of an early morion, Combined Military Services Museum|
|A much better picture of a morion, Royal Armouries Leeds|
|C17th English morion, National Civil War Centre|
Civil War era morions sometimes, but not always, had cheek pieces fitted: this is what most people envisage when they refer to a 'pikeman's pott'.
|'Classic' pikeman's armour, National Civil War Centre|
(just in case you are wondering, the articulated 'skirt' pieces are called tassets)
|A 'spider' secret, Royal Armouries Leeds|
|A more common style of secret, Royal Armouries Leeds|
|Zischagge, Combined Military Services Museum|
|Zischagge, Royal Armouries Leeds|
All are recognisable by a single, adjustable nose guard.
|Look carefully at the rear of the hat and you will see the adjuster for the zischagge style nose guard, West Berkshire Museum|
The zischagge helmet became the English three bar pot, lobster pot or 'roundhead's helmet' (shudders), by replacing the adjustable nose guard with a hinged visor that had three connected bars. This design has a few stages, with some subtle differences. They can be identified by their maker's stamp, and these general characteristics:
|Early version of an English three bar pott, Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge|
|Note the horizontal peak of the 'visor', Warrington Museum|
|National Civil War Centre|
|The Littlecote Collection Royal Armouries Leeds - quite tricky to work out which version from this angle isn't it?|
|Royal Armouries Leeds|
|Can you pick out the two helmets made to the third design of about 1660? The Great Hall, Warwick Castle|
|A zischagge that has been given a none articulated three bar face guard, Doncaster Museum|
And some specialist three bar pots...
|Siege armour, this three bar pot is so heavy that it requires shoulder supports, National Civil War Centre. The lack of a visible comb suggests this dates from the 1660s.|
|Facts for the real anorak: the zischagge traces its design back to|