Savoyard type Dutch closed helmet from the 17th Century. Heavy, two pieces hammered skull with riveted neck protector and typical narrow comb. Side mounted latch hook on the right side. The helmet was designed to protect the soldier against firearms, the material is thick and heavy.
Dutch Closed Helmet
An antique 17th Century Dutch Closed Helmet, Savoyard Type, in a very good condition.
Savoyard helmet is a type of closed helmet and was named after the elite cavalry formed by the Duke of Savoy, Charles Emanuel I by the end of 16th century. This type of helmet was designed to protect from gunshots, as firearms became commonly used. The design resembling a human face, sometimes a skull. In Germany, another name – todenkopf - “death’s head”, terrifying the enemy on the battlefield.
Closed helmets were mostly used by cuirassiers with a three-quarter armor. Mounted cavalry soldiers, known as cuirassiers appeared in the late 15th century as successors of the medieval armored knights. They were equipped with a war hammer or a sword and a pair of pistols. After adopting pistols as the main weapon, cuirassiers were used as infantry. Unfortunately, this tactic known as caracole tactic proved to be ineffective and cuirassiers became again close combat cavalry. The troops would engage in melee combat using pistols as a close arm, ensuring the death of their enemies.
By the mid 17th century, mostly due to the introduction of the musket, fully armored soldiers started losing their advantages. The heavy armor became impractical, too expensive, too heavy and vulnerable against infantry powerful firearms.