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Dave Hahn




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar, 2008 8:32 pm    Post subject: Brigandine makers (US)         Reply with quote

Hi guys,

I'd appreciate if anyone could reference any makers of this type of armour (15th century) in the US. I did a search and understand that White Rose and another maker in Poland are available.

some questions, would the combination of a brig, kettle helm, and a gorget be historically plausible for a 15th century footsoldier?

i also understand that maille would not be worn underneath this particular harness.

any help would be appreciated!!

Try not to take yourself too seriously.
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Chuck Russell




Location: WV
Joined: 17 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Mar, 2008 9:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

no gorget or "kettle", maybe a bever though. the helmet you would want is a chape de fer(sp?) sorta like a kettle but more fancier etc. and mail could have been worn with the brig. i believe the look would be late 15th century, say 1480s area.

as too USA suppliers i know of none. There was white rose, a guy in Poland and a gentleman in the Cheq Republic that made them but I can not off hand remember the names. Bob Reed made 2 or 3 from Craig Nader's assistance but they didn't sell any. And I believe Jeff Hedgecock made one for a museum, but not for resale as well. I think the problem is there is too much work for what people are willing to pay in US dollars. For a US craftsmen to complete one I think you'd be in the 2000+ range for resale, and not too many US buyers would make it worth the armorer's time. Sad shame really. they are awesome pieces. I have a roll of spring steel to make mine. but my group never got the rivets ordered nor the tinning machine up and running to make them.
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Dave Hahn




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey thanks!

I probably should have cleaned up my verbage on the war hat and bevor (not kettle helm or gorget, sheesh).

I emailed white rose last night, do you have experience with this company? <never mind, I did a search> He is currently offerring brigandines in the 700 pounds range.

Try not to take yourself too seriously.


Last edited by Dave Hahn on Sun 02 Mar, 2008 6:19 pm; edited 1 time in total
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 121

PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pretty sure the lower range is going to be a less historically rigorous brig. You'd get more historical accuracy for your buck with Bractea (the polish guy), probably, though the high-end White Rose brigs are lovely.
-Will
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

Posts: 253

PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave -if you want to save time and energy, check Museum Replicas/Windlass Steelcrafts They make a superb replica brigandine, which will cost less than your first born child.
Ja68ms
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 6:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Dave -if you want to save time and energy, check Museum Replicas/Windlass Steelcrafts They make a superb replica brigandine, which will cost less than your first born child.


I'm going to have to disagree. What they sell isn't actually a brigandine, it's more like a coat of plates, and isn't at all historical. It would make a good costume piece, or for a fantasy kit. But it is very far from a brigandine in form, and it also is not very protective. The plates are very thin, as is the suede used to hold them in place.

MRL can and has made some reasonable armour pieces (for the price) in the past, but this one isn't one of them, in my opinion.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Dave Hahn




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i'm curious, is there a a large differential in protection between a coat of plates and a brigandine?

i wonder why CoP usage dropped in the 15th in favour of the brig.

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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave A real fighting brigandine was made from heavy buckram canvas, and incorporated padding as well as the plates.which were about 1/8 in thick more or less depending on where located in the vest.It was meant to go over mail and gambeson as a substitute for a full cuirass, which many knights couldn't afford. Many knights and men- at-arms wore this plus arm and leg guards as full plate was Very expensive, since it had to be hand-fitted to the wearer to move and balance right.There are many good 1300-1400 illustrations of the men and how they looked. I may have mis-understood, I thought you wanted a replica.I agree, the MRL is a coat of plates if you get down to it The CoP was abandoned as too light, many of the first ones were just riveted to the surcoat.
Ja68ms
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Dave Hahn




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Comparing historical examples of both, you can see that a CoP from Wisby is relatively comparable to that of a brig.

I'm probably just splitting hairs at this point though.

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Mar, 2008 9:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave Hahn wrote:
Comparing historical examples of both, you can see that a CoP from Wisby is relatively comparable to that of a brig.

I'm probably just splitting hairs at this point though.


A brigandine is related to the coat of plates. The most obvious difference is that a brigandine is intended to mimic a 15th century civilian doublet. They were also considered very fashionable, and were often covered in velvet.

A coat of plates is typically earlier period, and usually simpler in form. The plates are usually bigger with less overlap, and are generally sewn under a canvas or leather sheet. They are generally much more utilitarian looking, and much less form-fitting.

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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Johan S. Moen




Location: Kristiansand, Norway
Joined: 26 Jan 2004

Posts: 259

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Dave A real fighting brigandine was made from heavy buckram canvas, and incorporated padding as well as the plates.which were about 1/8 in thick more or less depending on where located in the vest.


Do you have any sources for brigandines with padding? A brigandine typically consists of a shell made of either canvas, or velvet over canvas, with the plates rivetted on the inside. I've never seen or heard of one with padding.

1/8 inch plates are going to be way heavy. Some plates from the Higgins were in the 1-1,5 mm range, which should afford more than enough protection while having an acceptable weight.

Johan Schubert Moen
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Consider making one yourself. It may seem daunting, but it is essentially just a vest. There are photos online to show what these things look like "exploded," and you can use those, other research and experimentation with paper models to get a good pattern. Seems like the rivets would be the most time-consuming part (thus the HUGE price difference between a brigandine and a simple jack) but whether 2 rivets or 2,000, it's the same skill set. If you can set one rivet (which is very easy) you can set 1,000 or 10,000. It doesn't get harder as the number increases, just more time-consuming. The plates can be cut with shears and easily hammered or bent to shape. Assuming you have no tools or materials at all, I think you could get everything you'd need--anvil, drill and bit, hammer, rivets, fabric, steel--for less than $100 USD, and the tools will serve you through any number of future projects.

Disregard this post if you live in an apartment. If you start using a hammer and anvil in an apartment, you'd better finish this project quickly. You're going to need it. Big Grin

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
Joined: 20 Apr 2005

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dave

If you really want to do a kettle, bevor, maille, and brigandine look at late 15th and early 16th Spanish soldiers they wore that combo. Here is a cool kettle and bevor from that time frame in the Philly Museum of Art:



I have more images of brigandines and kettles on these pages: http://www.historiclife.com/Events/Museums/Philly2004.htm http://www.historiclife.com/Events/Museums/Philly2003.htm

As too the difference in the brigandine and the Coat of Plates I would say the real difference is the amount of plates and shaping. CoPs tend to have larger flatter plates and brigandines are shapelier and contour to the body while having smaller plates to help make it more flexible.


Bill

Be careful in defining brigandines as 15th century; they start in the 14th and are used at least through the 16th century. Big Grin

James Barker
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Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 12:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Barker wrote:
Bill

Be careful in defining brigandines as 15th century; they start in the 14th and are used at least through the 16th century. Big Grin


Noted! Thanks!

Virginia Academy of Fencing Historical Swordsmanship
--German Longsword & Italian Rapier in the DC Area--


"A despondent heart will always be defeated regardless of skill."
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Johan-I can only find the Paston letters off-hand. Sir John Paston was stabbed in the back 3-4 times, but was saved by his brigandine.He was wearing one of the fancy ones covered in velvet and enbroidered to look like a fancy winter doublet. I can't remember if he had metal plates or what in his, I remember it had 14 layers.
Ja68ms
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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Johan-I can only find the Paston letters off-hand. Sir John Paston was stabbed in the back 3-4 times, but was saved by his brigandine.He was wearing one of the fancy ones covered in velvet and enbroidered to look like a fancy winter doublet. I can't remember if he had metal plates or what in his, I remember it had 14 layers.


He was wearing a doublet of fence which is made like a jack but covered in a fancy material so people don't realizy you have it on under your gown. The Howard accounts calls for them to be made of 18 layers of fustian (a linen cotton blend) with 4 layers of linen on the outside of the fustian and a layer of black linen on the outside.

Quote:
"I toke to the dobelete maker..to make me a dobelete of fense, fore hevery for qwarter xviii folde theke of wyte fostyen, and iiii fold of lenen klothe, and a folde of blake fostyen to pote wethe howete"


Translation: "I took to the doublet maker, to make me a doublet of fence, for every four quarters 18 folds thick of white fustian, and 4 folds of linen cloth, and a fold of black fustian to put without."

James Barker
Historic Life http://www.historiclife.com/index.html
Archer in La Belle Compagnie http://www.labelle.org/
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James R.Fox




Location: Youngstowm,Ohio
Joined: 29 Feb 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 1:10 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr barker-thank you very much. I was never sure of what the difference was between the two , because at least one reference I have call them both brigandines, That never sounded right, but I didn't know your reference on how to make a doublet of fence.
Ja68ms
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Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Mon 03 Mar, 2008 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James R.Fox wrote:
Dave A real fighting brigandine was made from heavy buckram canvas, and incorporated padding as well as the plates.which were about 1/8 in thick more or less depending on where located in the vest.It was meant to go over mail and gambeson as a substitute for a full cuirass, which many knights couldn't afford. Many knights and men- at-arms wore this plus arm and leg guards as full plate was Very expensive, since it had to be hand-fitted to the wearer to move and balance right.There are many good 1300-1400 illustrations of the men and how they looked. I may have mis-understood, I thought you wanted a replica.I agree, the MRL is a coat of plates if you get down to it The CoP was abandoned as too light, many of the first ones were just riveted to the surcoat.


1/8" (3mm) thick is enormously thick for small plates that overlap. The thickness of steel on any point would be 6mm, thicker than the almost all forehead plates. Do you have a reference for this?

I also think you overestimate the amount of padding. I've never seen a padded brigandine. And they'd be likely worn over an arming coat not a full gambeson.

David-
My own suspicion is that the CoP represents a compromise - between a breastplate and a brigandine. Once full breastplates are common then the compromise armour ceases to be necessary.
Full armour/open battle = breastplate
Foraging/civilian etc. = brigandine

-Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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