Fencing helmet; Germany, c. 1820

Paukhelm, first half of the 19th century

Paukhelm, first half of the 19th century

Fencing helmet (Paukhelm) used in German cut fencing…

This is an early example of a fencing helmet or Paukhelm used in German cut fencing (Deutsches Hiebfechten). The helmet is made of hardenend rawhide (cuir bouilli), which has been crudely scraped clean of hair. (Some bristles remain.)

The wide wire mesh is not designed to protect against thrusts, which were not permitted in the system. The rim of the helmed widens into a screen above the eyes, protecting against cuts from above that may have gotten caught in the mesh.

Below is a modern version for comparison. Here, the more pliable leather is stretched over an inch-high layer of felt.

Modern Paukhelm

Modern Paukhelm

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