Last spring I published a two-page article in Medieval Warfare VIII.1 talking about the kinds of concealed armour which were for sale in the Avignon of the Babylonian Captivity. As far as I know nobody else has talked about these sources in any language except Italian, so I hope translating them was helpful! Now, I am interested in the real things and how they were made … if I ever have money I might commission a few reproductions. But what if your interest is in gaming? How might you represent this armour, say in GURPS?
Archivio Datini di Prato
Most people interested in medieval armour think that the word sallet is first attested in the inventory of the Gonzaga family armoury after the death of Francesco I Gonzaga in 1407:
#23: Vna cellata coperta velluto carmesi pilloso cum certis dindinellis racamatis viridis “One sallet covered with plush crimson velvet with certain green embroidered fringes”
#25: Quadraginta tres cellate ferri “43 sallets of iron”
#124: Triginta stufe a celata “30 coverings for sallets”
That is the oldest reference in Claude Blair, and his book in 1958 was the last book on European armour by someone who spent a lot of time reading medieval documents in the original. In fact, there are another group of references from this time which have not yet been brought into the debate. These are in the Archivio Datini di Prato in Tuscany and were published by Luciana Frangioni in her article “Bacinetti e altre difese della testa nella documentazione di un’azienda mercantile, 1366-1410.” She copied and printed all of the references to armour for the head in this archive, and now I have copied them for you.
from 1406 (ADP, n. 178/15, c. 1t)
cappellina d’acciaio celata, buona: s. 18 “celata chaplet of steel: 18 soldi“
celate di ferro, di più fazioni, buone e cattiva, piccole: s. 8 una “celate of iron, of many styles, good and bad, small: s. 8 each”