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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jul, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: 13th century gorget ?         Reply with quote

Hello all,

As I was browsing Darksword Amoury's website, I found this :

http://www.darksword-armory.com/1711.html

Now this one interests me, because I currently lack neck protection and I am interested in having a mid-13th century kit (with an Albion Baron being its highlight)... If the date provided is right. It surprises me a bit, because, from my limited knowledge about armours, I thought such rigid metal protections only appeared in the 14th century. I tried browsing the limited documentation I have at hand, and did not find any instance of gorget used in the 13th century with a mail suit (as I would do), as opposed to many pics of gorgets as part of full plate armours. So I thought I'd ask here. What are the earlier instances of gorgets and can they be (more or less) historically used with a mail hauberk and a great helm ?

Also, if anyone has this particular piece, or has comments about it, I'd be glad to hear from them.

PS : the piece is said to be at the Louvre Museum, and to be documented in "A record of European Armours and Arms through Seven Centuries" by Sir Guy Francis Laking, Vol. VI page 431. Tried searching for that - but the Internet Archive "only" offers the first five volumes for download (augh !). If anyone owns the sixth, I'd be grateful to read what it says...
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jul, 2008 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very limited help from me here: I think some rigid defences may have been worn under the maille early on ?

Effigies from the maille period also have surcoats that could hide plate armour worn over or under the maille but not be obviously visible.

Maybe early gorget and coats of plate were worn under the maille: There seems to be mention of " cuirie " ( Spelling ? ) being so worn ? I don't remember specific sources but I think I may have read some of this in posts on this site at some time.

Here are Topics that I found with a search, haven't read all the content to see if it is relevant:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=cuirie
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=cuirie
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=cuirie
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ght=cuirie

Looked at the gorget you linked to and I think it may be the common error of writing 13th century for something made in 1380 for example instead of writing 14th century: The gorget shown seems to be a later type of maybe even 15th century ?

Something like this at least looks credible for the early 14th century, not to sure about the 13th though:
http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ucts_id=49

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Russ Thomas
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Location: Telemark, Norway
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PostPosted: Mon 14 Jul, 2008 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simon,

There were rudimentary gorgets used in the end of the 13th century. Claude Blair mentions in his book 'European Armour 1066-1700', that there is a document from 1294 that mentions some sixty plate gorgets ! There are some early manuscripts that show them being worn with kettle hats, though I believe that these are all 14th century. And of course there is the effigy of Don Alvarro de Cabrera of ca.1314, which is believed to be the earliest one that is datable.
However, as Jean has said already, the gorget shown in your post is definately not 13th century ! It is 16th century.
There are supposed to be a great many mistakes in the Laking catalogues, and a number of pieces that are now known to be not what they were thought to be. Though I cannot say for certain, or name instances, as I have never read the books. I do have the first five volumes downloaded, but have as yet not gotten round to perusing them ! What happened to Vol. 6 anyway??? Confused
The Cabrera gorget consists of a collar plate, that covers the upper chest, and then an almost vertical plate that comes up just below nose level. I do not think that it would go very well with a great helm, even if it were historically ok. But hauberk and a chappelle de fer would be fine.

Regards,

Russ

PS. Somewhere here on the forum, is an article from not very long ago about the bevor shown above the one you posted.

R.

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Jean and Russ. That's too bad, I rather liked that gorget, and the price was attractive, too Razz

The Mercenary's Tailor one looks gorgeous, though. I like this leather/plate construction, it certainly has an "earlier" look (I'm ashamed to use such general terms, but...).

In fact, I think I'll make a gorget myself. This should not be too difficult, working with leather, and I really want to try and do a serious leather project - it seems "easy" enough (as compared to smithing a plate gorget myself... Big Grin ). As I understand it a leather gorget (kinda like Mercenary's Tailor's one, without the plates) would be pretty fitting for the period I aim at (XIIIth century) and it should be sturdy enough.

Thanks again to both of you, you've been very helpful !
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Simon G. wrote:
Thanks Jean and Russ. That's too bad, I rather liked that gorget, and the price was attractive, too Razz

The Mercenary's Tailor one looks gorgeous, though. I like this leather/plate construction, it certainly has an "earlier" look (I'm ashamed to use such general terms, but...).

In fact, I think I'll make a gorget myself. This should not be too difficult, working with leather, and I really want to try and do a serious leather project - it seems "easy" enough (as compared to smithing a plate gorget myself... Big Grin ). As I understand it a leather gorget (kinda like Mercenary's Tailor's one, without the plates) would be pretty fitting for the period I aim at (XIIIth century) and it should be sturdy enough.

Thanks again to both of you, you've been very helpful !


If a gorget is made of thick leather and is " UNDER " the mail it mostly protects the neck from blunt impact and the maille keeps the leather from being cut: So, metal plates on the gorget might not be as important as with a gorget worn by itself or over the maille ? Horn may also have been used insteas of metal plates ? ( Not sure of this last ).

Oh, I have the Mercenary Taylor's Gorget and it does look nice.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 15 Jul, 2008 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the MAc bible some of the men where padded collars, likely attached to the aketons they where but nonetheless they cover all the neck. Some of the gents in full mail wear these as well, likely once more part of full padded armours under. As Jean said coupled with the mail it presents a formidible defence.

There are records of gorgets in the 13th but the problem is in IDing what they really are. In many cases they are without description. Very likely many are refereing to mail 'gorgets' but sadly impossible to say for sure. I'd not rule out some rigig and semi-rigid gorgets pre 1300 but I'd also not feel confident unless I had some good pictures.

In Nicolle's Medieval Warfare Source Book there is a picture early 14th of a English MS that shows a soldier in a kettle helmet and has a real bevor on. Both look of the same material so it can be assumed they are iron. Worth looking at if you can. Sadly I do not have a scanner or have I ever found the MS online.

RPM
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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
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PostPosted: Wed 16 Jul, 2008 2:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:

In Nicolle's Medieval Warfare Source Book there is a picture early 14th of a English MS that shows a soldier in a kettle helmet and has a real bevor on. Both look of the same material so it can be assumed they are iron. Worth looking at if you can. Sadly I do not have a scanner or have I ever found the MS online.

Thanks, but don't bother : I do own David Nicolle's book, even if I do not have it at hand right now. I'll be sure to look into it for more info.

Regarding bevors, Viollet le Duc (a rather old and debated authority, but still useful, and I have it at hand) asserts that it appeared with the bascinet, mid-XIVth century. Still according to him, before that, the great helm was used with a collar-and-cap (kinda like a hood, apparently) made of leather or textile, and that combination allowed for a rather satisfying protection of the neck, even if it was far from perfect. The use of bascinets, sallets and kettle hats from the XIVth century onwards would have warranted a new protection for the neck, since these helmets did not go as far down as the great helm.

If this is right (and I know that might not be, Viollet le Duc's text is a century old) then the use of a bevor, or even of a plated gorget with rather "high" collar like the Darksword Amoury one I asked about at the beginning of this tread, with a great helm would be non-historical and, as Jean pointed out early one, probably impratical (I have quite a lot of room at the lower end of my GDFB great helm, that's why I thought that maybe it could fit). I will look into the "hoods" Viollet le Duc talks about. As you suggested, Randall, these were probably padded collars used in combination with the aketon.

I'll probably try making one. At the beginning I was thinking about using thick leather sandwiched between softer, thinner leather, with external rivets for a "studded" look ; but now I'm considering a padded garment, maybe with leather external covering, and cuffs to attach it to my hauberk below and my great helm above. But that's just based on imagination. I should probably try and look for period exemples (though I doubt much leather-and-textile elements have survived from the XIIIth century). Thoughts, gentlemen ?

(Damn, this hobby is addictive. You buy an Albion sword because you like swords and think theirs kick arse, then you get dragged into trying to make period armour !... )
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Alessio J. Orlandi




Location: Bologna, Italy
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i'm a little bit late, but i found this interesting painting (dating beginning of 1300) displaing some kind of neck-protection (see warrior on the right)


 Attachment: 139.38 KB
neck protection (beginning of 14th century) [ Download ]
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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2009 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looks like a padded collar with mail sewn on top. Padded collars where in quite common use on the 13th century, though usually with not with mail on it.
More commonly they where worn on top of a coif.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this effigy is of an unknown knight in Wells Cathedral and has been dated to.... 1240s or 1250s. It shows a collar and hood over mail and is laced and tied to the mail coif (which has a ventail). It is not clear as to whether this collar is leather, cloth, or a combination of both but does not appear to be iron/steel/latten. tr



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