Pratteln, Castle Madeln, pre-1356
Deposit of Archäologie Baselland, Liestal
Knights enjoyed such high social standing that some of their weapons and equipment – such as swords, golden spurs and heaumes – became emblems of knighthood itself. The heaume, moreover, came to symbolize eligibility for knighthood and as a frequent feature of knightly coats of arms indicated that its wearer participated in tournaments. Heaumes are extremely rare these days and barely 20 examples are known to have survived in Europe. A dent on the forehead plate, probably caused by a blow to the head, attests to the helmet’s use in practice, as do the three holes on the same plate which were presumably made by a coronal. All that is known about Castle Madeln, where the helmet was found, is that it was acquired by the lords of Eptingen in the 13th century and remained in their possession until it was destroyed by the Basel earthquake of 18 October 1356.