Heraldic helm

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In heraldry, helms are used as part of the heraldic achievement to indicate the rank of a device's owner. The helm is place on top of the device's shield and its colour, the direction it faces and its design signifies the rank. Any crest, coronet or crown is placed on top of the helm.

  • King, Queen, Prince, Princess - facing forward, made of gold, six bars, lined with crimson.
  • Peers - turned slightly, made of steel, five gold bars.
  • Landed Barons - made of steel, maybe one or three grilles, garnished in gold. [direction unknown, only Scottish?]
  • Knights and Baronets - facing forward with the visor opened, made of steel, no bars.
  • Esquires and Gentlemen - facing to dexter, made of steel, visor closed.

For a clergyman, a bishop's hat can be used instead of a helm in modern heraldry. This was not done in period. Scottish heraldry had less of a tendancy to set the direction of the helms per rank.

Although the SCA does not officially use heraldic achievements within its game, scribes generally take into account period practice when creating award scrolls.

Sources