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The bascinet also basinet is a type of helmet that is rounded or has a pointed skull. It was open faced but could have a visor. It also would have a camail. The smaller forms of the bascinet could be worn under a great helm, in which case a visor was not worn with the bascinet.


An early form of bascinet called the cervelliere existed in the mid 13th century. This type of helmet was also contemporarily refered to as a bascinet.

The true bascinet developed in the 14th century and by 1330 had replaced the cervelliere.

There were orginally three types:

  • deep (often to the base of the neck), conical skull with arched opening the face and often a visor
  • small just below the ears and very rounded
  • tall conical form reaching the tops of the ears

After 1450 one form had taken the fore. This was a conical skull of medium height, covering the ears and nape of the neck.

Towards the end of the century saw the bascinet cover the base of the neck as well and the apex of the skull moves backward further so that the back of the helmet has an almost straight profile and the front has a smooth curve.

By the end of the 14th century the base of the helmet extended further downwards and this lessoned the need for the camail.

Bascinet Visors

The visors of bascinets began as pointed affairs and the Germans developed a more globular form known as the klappvisier which featured slot like sights and pierced breaths. This developed into the pointed snout or hounskull (dog headed) type which also made a new type of pivot with a removable pin.