Helm: Prankher Helm

ca. 1330-1340 (Helm) und 15. Jahrhundert (Helmzier), Besitzer: Albert von Prankh



Prankher Helm

This helmet comes from the church of the former monastery of Augustinian Friars at Seckau in Styria (today a Benedictine monastery). In 1877, it was removed from its place high up on the wall of the southern aisle of the church, where it had hung for centuries below two funerary shields of the Prankh family. In 1878, Johann Baptist Zwerger, Prince-Bishop of Seckau, presented it to the imperial collections in Vienna.

A comparison with similar helmets suggests the great helm from Seckau was made around 1330. It comprises two front plates, two neckplates, and a flat, pierced top plate. On the left, and partially also on the right, the plates protecting the face are reinforced with a plate lined in felt. This reinforcement suggests the great helm was not worn in battle but for hastiludes, medieval martial games. It was presumably donned for the melee (a mock battle in which two rival parties of knights faced each other armed with lances, swords, and maces), because it bears the marks of slashes on all sides. Hits sustained in a duel fought with lances would have been limited to the front and left side of the helmet.

The great helm probably originally belonged to Albert of Prankh, who lived in the mid-fourteenth century. Albert’s seal survives on a document dated 1353, and it features two horns with combs similar to the crest surmounting this helmet. However, the same symbol was also used on the seals of other members of the Prankh family who lived in the late fourteenth and the fifteenth century.

There are almost no extant medieval crested helmets. The most famous example is the great helm of Edward the Black Prince in Canterbury Cathedral (England). Crests first appeared as heraldic symbols in the early thirteenth century; in the later Middle Ages they were mainly worn by jousters as fantastic decorations in the lists.

Derzeit ausgestellt: Neue Burg, Saal I







ca. 1330-1340 (Helm) und 15. Jahrhundert (Helmzier)


Albert von Prankh (um 1350)


Helm: Eisen, geschmiedet, aus Einzelteilen gebaut. Farbreste. Textil: Filz. Helmzier: Leder. Textil: Leinen. Kreidegrund, blattvergoldet und – versilbert. Lasur.


H inklusive Zimier: H 76 cm x B 24,2 cm x T 31 cm
B gesamt inkl. Zimier 40 cm
Gewicht Zimier: 1,01kg
Gewicht Helm: 5,2kg
Gesamtgewicht: 6,21kg





Stempel / Zeichen



Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer

Inv. Nr.

Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, B 74

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