Basinet - Encyclopedia


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BASINET (a diminutive of "basin"), a form of helmet or headpiece. The original small basinet was a light open cap, with a peaked crown. This was used alternately to, and even in conjunction with, the large heavy heaume. But in the latter half of the 13th century the basinet was developed into a complete war head-dress and replaced the heaume. In this form it was larger and heavier, had a vizor (though not always a pivoted vizor like that of the later armet), and was connected with the gorget by a "camail" or mail hood, the head and neck thus being entirely covered. It is always to be recognized by its peaked crown. The word is spelt in various forms, "bassinet," "bascinet," "bacinet," or "basnet." The form "bassinet" is used for the hooded wicker cradle or perambulator for babies.

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