Help support TMP

"German Reiter Headgear???" Topic

11 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please don't call someone a Nazi unless they really are a Nazi.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Renaissance Painting Guides Message Board

Back to the Renaissance Discussion Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset


Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

Battle-Market: Tannenberg 1410

The Editor tries out a boardgame - yes, a boardgame - from battle-market magazine.

Featured Workbench Article

From Fish Tank to Tabletop

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian receives a gift from his wife…

Featured Profile Article

Herod's Gate

Part II of the Gates of Old Jerusalem.

Featured Book Review

2,123 hits since 15 Mar 2018
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Terry3715 Mar 2018 12:38 p.m. PST

I have some Essex German Reiters with the headgear as shown in George Gush's book (see attached picture), but am not sure if that is a metal helmet of some kind or a soft cloth/felt hat. Does anyone have any info on it?



Thanks, any help is appreciated,


IGWARG1 Supporting Member of TMP Fezian15 Mar 2018 2:10 p.m. PST

I've seen illustrations of similar hats made out of various materials in civilian as well as in military settings of this period. However, I don't remember where, I also have seen an illustration of hat like that made out of metal, rust colored and with nasal. This particular illustration is probably metal as you can see chin guards as well.

If you decide to paint hats as metal helmets, don't paint them silver metal. Give them black or brown color as they were simulating civilian fashions. Otherwise, they can be any color, just look at contemporary paintings of civilian hats of the time.

BTW, I recently painted 12 of those from Old Glory range…

Daniel S15 Mar 2018 9:50 p.m. PST

The Gush artwork is horrible as far as historical accuracy is concerned, I have seen able to identify a lot of the original period drawings and paintings used as inspiration by the artist and in many cases I can not understand how he ended drawing the way he did.

The Reiter hat in the original source is clearly a felt hat and it lacks the armoured chin straps. Hat shaped helmets turn up in the next century but I know of no 16th Century example connected to Reiterstyle armour. Reiters were very strongly connected to variations of a single helmet style, the Sturmhaube aka Burgonet which is universal in the documents and artwork.

photocrinch16 Mar 2018 10:46 a.m. PST


I was able to find an illustration in some of the resources you had passed on to me when working on my stradiots for the Venetian army. Unfortunately I could not tell the source, but the hat was colored black and had no chin straps.

Druzhina16 Mar 2018 9:03 p.m. PST


What was Gush's source for the reiter shown above?

Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Prince Alberts Revenge18 Mar 2018 2:48 p.m. PST

Some very interesting discussion here. Always enjoy when Daniel S. provides us with some insight. 16th century reiters are one of my favorite combatants. I know there is debate about the caracole but the idea of it is so neat.

Daniel S. would the Reiters of the 1560s (say during the battle of Dreux) typically wear the burgonet and 3/4 plate armor that we see in later illustrations? I've seen the Gush artwok and other illustrations that depict pistol armed reiters in chainmail covering the upper chest and shoulders and that felt hat. Would they have been from a different era (say boar spear) or are they just wrong? Thanks for any insight!

Daniel S18 Mar 2018 3:19 p.m. PST

By the 1560's Reiters wore armour that was actually barely even 1/2 plate.
A large part of the arms lacked plate protection and the legs were completly unprotected if the Reiter did not have a mail skirt. A few officers wore heavier suits but the rank and file wore heavily standardised armour of the type seen in this Jost Amman image. It was often known as a Trabharnisch. This armour style is well documented both in Reiter contracts and in the records of the armour makers, in some cases such as the great Styrian armoury in Graz it is possible to trace the armour from the worksshops of Nürnberg to the large collection of surviving Reiter armour still on display.

Most of the 3/4-armours identified as being armour for Reiters are in fact not cavalry armours at all but rather infantry armours.

The mail clad Reiter is this one I suspect:
Jost Amman never provided a lable for this horseman so we don't know if he is a Reiter, a highway man or a noble traveling in a dangerous area. The large mail cape also covers the torso in such a way that it is impossible to see if he is wearing plate protection for the chest.

Daniel S18 Mar 2018 3:30 p.m. PST

Based on some very specific details I would say that it is either based on a mid-16th C painting probably by Cranach (or possibly a copy of that painting) or a couple of 19th Century reconstructions based on the same.

In the painting it is possible to misinterpret the roped edge of the gorget as an armoured chinstrap and Cranach is AFAIK the only one who shows actual Reiters with a symetrical yet fairly deep fauld on both back and breastplate. He is also one of the few artists who actually painted early Reiters in detail.

Terry3718 Mar 2018 4:28 p.m. PST

Daniel S, some of the best info I've seen on Reiters.

If you were to paint the figure as depicted in the Gush drawing in my original note, how would you do it – as a metal type helmet or as a felt cap?



Daniel S18 Mar 2018 5:08 p.m. PST

Felt hat, Cranach only shows black hats among Reiters while his men-at-arms wear black as well as other colours such as red or even a golden yellow.

Terry3718 Mar 2018 9:13 p.m. PST

Thank you very much Daniel, I can go with that. Great feeling like a dilemma is solved!


Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.