The sallet was a war helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries.Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from...
that replaced the bascinet
The bascinet was a Medieval European open-faced military helmet, typically fitted with an aventail and hinged visor. The term is also written as bassinet or basinet.-Early versions:...
in northern Europe and Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...
during the mid-15th century. Some sallets were close fitting except at the back of the head where they extended and formed a pointed tail. Some Italian ones followed the shape of the neck, and had an additional plate riveted on. Many sallets were worn with an extended, padded gorget
A gorget originally was a steel or leather collar designed to protect the throat. It was a feature of older types of armour and intended to protect against swords and other non-projectile weapons...
called a bevor
A bevor is a piece of plate armour designed to protect the neck, much like a gorget. A bevor can be made of a single solid piece or multiple articulated lamés around the neck and chin. The bevor was typically worn in conjunction with a sallet, and later with a burgonet, in a form known as a...
that protected the wearer's jaw. Some sallet versions have occularia in the form of a slit in a visor, some have this slit in the front of the helm, or even in the brim. Most sallets needed no breathing holes, as there was a natural gap where it overlapped the bevor near the wearer's mouth. Some Italian sallets had a "bellows visor" with breaths cut into the visor.
This helmet design contrasted with the barbute
A barbute is a visorless war helmet of 14th to 15th century Italian design, often with distinctive "T" shaped or "Y" shaped opening for the eyes and mouth...
which was popular in Italy at the same time. Unlike the sallet, the barbute itself protected the jaw and neck. So whereas the gorget or bevor were important counterparts to the sallet, they were usually absent in barbutes. Barbutes did not pivot. Sallets did not share the barbute's resemblance to classical Greek
Classical Greece was a 200 year period in Greek culture lasting from the 5th through 4th centuries BC. This classical period had a powerful influence on the Roman Empire and greatly influenced the foundation of Western civilizations. Much of modern Western politics, artistic thought, such as...
or Roman artifacts.
One characteristic that distinguishes early sallets from late sallets is the length of the helmet tail, which became more pronounced toward the end of the century. Some helmets are of intermediate design, incorporating elements of both the barbute and the sallet. In the early 16th century this evolved into the burgonet
The burgonet helmet was a Renaissance-era and Early modern combat helmet. It was the successor of the sallet....
The sallet is usually considered a German style of armour, and the World War I German Stahlhelm
Stahlhelm is German for "steel helmet". The Imperial German Army began to replace the traditional boiled-leather Pickelhaube with the Stahlhelm during World War I in 1916...
was modelled after the 15th century sallet. The sallet was the forerunner of the modern combat helmet
A combat helmet or battle helmet is a type of personal armor designed specifically to protect the head during combat. Helmets are among the oldest forms of personal protective equipment and are known to have been worn by the Akkadians/Sumerians in the 23rd century BC, Mycenaean Greeks since 17th...
and firefighter's helmet.