Whilst there is doubt over the so-called "cheek-piece", other, small items from the hoard are very likely to have been stripped from a helmet. In particular, silver pressblech foils of the kind which adorned the Sutton Hoo helm, and many of the Vendel Period in Sweeden have been found in tiny fragments and when reassembled, can clearly be seen to depict ranks of warriors wearing animal-crested helms. Other pieces include what may be a hollow helmet crest, and a horses head terminal that could, potentially, take the role of stylised dragons found on Sutton Hoo and the Vendel-period helms.
|Sutton Hoo Helm; Perhaps the closest comparison?|
None of these finds tell us much about the structure of the helm itself. We can, however, make educated guesses based on the precedent set by other finds. Almost all Anglo-Saxon helms had a nasal rather than a visor, and almost all found had large, hinged cheek-pieces, so a good guess at the Staffs Helm's structure would follow these conventions. We know it was decorated with embossed silver foils, and would likely have followed the typical "Northern Ridge Helm" construction seen on its contemporaries. Other finds offers no hints at what neck protection was favoured, as they vary widely in this regard.
However, these are guesses; no reliable statistical inference can be gained from a sample size of 4. In addition, in the messy context of a gold hoard, even the idea that all helmet-related items came from the same helm could be questioned.
It is unlikely we will ever know the true story of the hoard, know for certain what the Staffordshire Helm looked like, or be certain of the function of the mysterious piece K453. However, through further discussion, and utilising the invaluable tool of re-constructive archaeology, hope remains that we might catch a glimpse of what once must have been a magnificent helm, and uncover more of the hoard's mysteries.