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Archaic high swan crest
#1
Hello Everyone!
Tall crests are well known in the archaic era, being depicted as frequently as the low crest, and well attested both in pottery and sculpture, as well as in the archeological record. I decided to reconstruct a sub-category of these high crests, which take the form of an animal, in this case a swan. I haven't as of yet identified a special meaning of the swan, which is one of the most popular birds used for crests, together with the horse, the snake and the ram. Perhaps the natural pride of this bird, or even a link to Zeus, who was disquised as a swan when he mated with Leda.

Athena Promachos with the tall swan crest.

[attachment=10662]10449489_10203962604641953_8866478622060902733_n.jpg[/attachment]


The swan crest used on a peculiar thracian cap/helmet. This one dates to the 5th century and makes it perhaps one of the latest survivals of the high crest.

[attachment=10663]10590444_10203962663243418_4068433516865919704_n.jpg[/attachment]


I decided to reconstruct this specific miniature model of a swan crest from a bronze statuette. 6th c.b.c.

[attachment=10664]10635811_10203962686924010_5117555606095749381_n.jpg[/attachment]


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Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#2
The start has been done! Pattern is ready (traced from the model), and i will use this crest to make the new one.

[attachment=10665]10481918_10203962743285419_1156678084292589459_n.jpg[/attachment]

The wooden base has been realized! Beech wood and inlaid ebony eyes. Also a test of the ebony-dust paint on the beak.

[attachment=10666]10650004_10203963003571926_6014162987406778268_n.jpg[/attachment]


Thanks to Athanasios Porporis for the photo he took in the BM, in this helmet we see the unique characteristic of the preserved wooden base of the tall crest. It is also a splendid example of how one would attach this crest on the helmet. Who knows, it could have even been a swan crest once!

[attachment=10667]10580158_10203963057533275_3420230843299671311_n.jpg[/attachment]


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
Less than 1 minute ago" />    Less than 1 minute ago" />    Less than 1 minute ago" />   
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#3
Thanks to Athanasios Porporis for the photo he took in the BM, in this helmet we see the unique characteristic of the preserved wooden base of the tall crest. It is also a splendid example of how one would attach this crest on the helmet. Who knows, it could have even been a swan crest once!

[attachment=10668]10592725_10203963091254118_7340292491848126040_n.jpg[/attachment]


I also thought of posting a photo of the liner of my helmet.

The leather crest holder is in place. Eventually leather thongs will be woven through the slits, keeping the horsehair in place.

[attachment=10669]10620769_10203963195416722_4291853173643613098_n.jpg[/attachment]

This is how the crestbox is secured on the wood.

[attachment=10671]10678499_10203963706709504_2574586520317234080_n.jpg[/attachment]


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Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#4
Crest painted with milk glue paint. Several layers and some white egg tempera powder gave this result. — μαζί με Gregory J. Liebau

[attachment=10672]10645082_10203963741390371_4892059079238062864_n.jpg[/attachment]


Since long i have noticed the dots and some times short lines that are so often depicted on the crests. The mystery to me can be explained if what the artists are trying to depict is actually a thread "stitching" the horsehair together. This prevents the hair to droop and creates a sturdy crest even with few horsehair. My idea us supported by some bronze sculpture like the etruscan statuettes in the bottom. The bottom left shows a helmet with and a helmet without the thread.

[attachment=10673]10626519_10203963831672628_6227856041792141715_n.jpg[/attachment]


The weaving is going well so far.

[attachment=10674]10686730_10203963883193916_6885600314106719281_n.jpg[/attachment]

I added a little glue for extra support of the tufts

[attachment=10675]10665857_10203963882913909_5584283697985437276_n.jpg[/attachment]


Attached Files Thumbnail(s)
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Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#5
this looks really cool!! :woot:
Als Mensch zu dumm, als Schwein zu kleine Ohren...

Jürgen Graßler

http://www.schorsch-der-schmied.de
http://www.facebook.com/pages/AG-Histori...2642993872
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#6
It is ready!!!
[attachment=10676]10423981_10203963955595726_5046040656745061957_n.jpg[/attachment]

In colour

[attachment=10677]10659429_10203963985796481_8228019339280037437_n.jpg[/attachment]

So this was my Archaic high swan crest. It has been perhaps my most complicated project till now, because it involves almost entirely only period materials and is as sturdy as i could think of. It also involved tecniques i had never tried before, like the home made milk glue/paint and the securing of the crest on the helmet.
I did try to make it as light as possible, except that beech wood is quite heavy, but the crest box and horse hair weigh nothing. Despite which, the helmet moves more to the right and left when i shake my head, as is normal, so a suspension system must me added, or i need to wrap a linen ribbon around my head as is some times seen on vases under helmets.
Khairete
Giannis


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Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
Reply
#7
Absolutely gorgeous! Congratulations.
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#8
Wow - that looks great.

Thanks for the photo guide and explanation too - very good job. Well done Smile
Moi Watson

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Merlot in one hand, Cigar in the other; body thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and screaming "WOO HOO, what a ride!
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#9
Does anyone know more about the artifact helmet at the BM? Has the crest holder been analyzed?

I was told there is no artifact proof that such crests were actually used, yet they are depicted on thousands of pieces of pottery! Could the artisans have used a totally fabricated helmet style and why would the public purchase such?
Joe Balmos
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#10
It's awesome!!!!
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#11
By the way, I too think it is totally awesome!
Joe Balmos
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#12
Great work Giannis. And also thanks for the guide photos. Impressive reconstruction.
Visne partem mei capere? Comminus agamus! * Me semper rogo, Quid faceret Iulius Caesar? * Confidence is a good thing! Overconfidence is too much of a good thing.
[b]Legio XIIII GMV. (Q. Magivs)RMRS Remember Atuatuca! Vengence will be ours!
Titus Flavius Germanus
Batavian Coh I
Byron Angel
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#13
This is very impressive work.
Realy magnificient colors.
I like the paint matches beautiful tones of horsehair. Nice line of the hair btw!

For the maker of this piece> is painting on the cranial part of the helmet done at the same time as the crest? If not how often do you need repairs on the paint? What kind of paint is it anyhow?

Thanks
Gordan

,,The Greeks did not follow a straight path of military efficiency. They were guided, rather, by culture, especially by the legacy of their past.\'\'
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#14
The painting on the helmet was done years before the crest. On the crest i used natural paints, but on the helmet i had used acrylics. It doesn't need often repairs, and i don't worry about the occasional scratch. Next time though i would use casein paint/glue, like the crest, because i found out that it sticks very well on the bronze. It was really hard to remove a bit of paint from the base of the crest!
Matt Lukes had also informed me on the strength of casein paint on brass.
To protect the paint though, and the helmet itself, i padded the underside of the crest with leather.
Khaire
Giannis
Giannis K. Hoplite
a.k.a.:Giannis Kadoglou
a.k.a.:Thorax
[Image: -side-1.gif]
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#15
Quote:To protect the paint though, and the helmet itself, i padded the underside of the crest with leather.

You mean the base of the wooden swan itself?

Fantastic work, BTW. I've never seen that stitching in the crest to hold it upright and together, but it makes eminent good sense the way you've presented it.
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