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Was a three-point suspension harness for quivers a historical design, a brilliant-though-modern idea, or somewhere in between?
A historical design
12%
 12%  [ 2 ]
A Brilliant-though-Modern Idea
56%
 56%  [ 9 ]
There is evidence that it MIGHT be historical, though it is unlikely
31%
 31%  [ 5 ]
Total Votes : 16

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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 1:58 pm    Post subject: quiver suspension         Reply with quote

I have been looking around the internet for quite some time at archery quivers, and have noticed a very popular theme in the medieval repros. They almost all have a single loop that wraps over your shoulder. This setup leads to several problems in my opinion:
The quiver slides down my back, effectively keeping me from reaching the arrows.
The strap slides off my shoulder periodically, which I find rather annoying.

I am unsure if they are made that way simply to reduce cost and simplify the design, or if this was indeed the historical way of quiver design.

After seeing LOTR, (yes I know that this is not a good historical reference) I noticed that Legolas and most of the archers in the movie had a three point suspension harness for the quivers.

This seems to make much more sense to me. I tried it out with a rough mockup (a quiver and some old belts), and was shocked at how secure it felt! the quiver did not slide down my back as it does with the single loop, so I could reach the arrows without a problem. It held the quiver securely in position over my shoulder, reducing the amount of groping for arrows I did by a good 80%.

My question is this: Was a three-point suspension a historical thing, a brilliant-though-modern idea, or historically-plausible-but-highly-unlikely.

This post open to discussions, ideas, sources, comments, etc.

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Steven H




Location: Boston
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 2:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The only depictions of quivers that I recall are hung from the belt. Which eliminates all of the problems you noted.

Cheers,
Steven

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I've read, the English archers of the 100 Years War liked to thrust arrows into their belt or simply stick them in the ground near them.
Happy

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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 3:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For a Ren Faire Bounty Hunter persona, would one suspension harness be "more accurate" over another?

Putting the arrows in my belt wouldn't be allowed through the gate, and last time I had a hip quiver, they asked me to put the arrows in a back quiver next time (not sure why, but I admit that I think back quivers are cooler-looking).

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Gilleland wrote:
For a Ren Faire Bounty Hunter persona, would one suspension harness be "more accurate" over another?

Putting the arrows in my belt wouldn't be allowed through the gate, and last time I had a hip quiver, they asked me to put the arrows in a back quiver next time (not sure why, but I admit that I think back quivers are cooler-looking).


If it's a Ren Faire Bounty Hunter persona, why do you care about historical accuracy? Happy If you're not going for a historical impression, you don't need to be constrained by historical accuracy.

Happy

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Grayson C.




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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 6:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

What about arrow bags? Bernard Cornwell talks about these in his Grail Quest series - are these accurate?
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Tue 22 Jul, 2008 8:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Wrote:
Quote:
If it's a Ren Faire Bounty Hunter persona, why do you care about historical accuracy?


I guess that it doesn't really matter...

I just would like to maintain a historically plausible , if not accurate outfit.

I want to present something that people can buy into, not just a fun character that has no bearing at all to anything historical.

Just my personal preference.

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Andreas Auer




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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jul, 2008 1:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Belt quivers are cheaper, the arrows are easily under control while walking or running, the arrows are faster to draw, the archer can see what type of arrow he takes for the next shoot...so i don't see one point for a back quiver...and my 20cent for the coolness...try to go to a crowded tavern with a back quiver without taking a persons eye out...:-)
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Daniel Michaelsson




Location: Dena Lagu
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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jul, 2008 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Back quivers aren't historically inaccurate. They're shown on the Bayeux tapestry.



^See top left Norman archer.

As for three point baldric-belts, well, as long as it could have been feasibly made in the time period I wouldn't frett too much.
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Wed 23 Jul, 2008 5:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel,

Thanks for the resource!

I'm going to put together a more finished-looking three-point harness in the near future if all goes well, and will try to remember to post pictures of it here when I'm done.

In the meantime, feel free to have open discussions about quiver styles, suspensions, how they related and changed according to period, bow style, culture, etc.

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James Barker




Location: Ashburn VA
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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are more images of quivers on the back from the low middle ages but once you get to the high middle ages you see more arrows in belts or in bags which records tell us are cloth.

From the Luttrell Psalter 1340s:


From Hans Memling St Ursula Shrine c. 1489; tucked in a belt:


From the manuscript Chronicle of Diebold Schilling 15th century:



In the belt from the Beauchamp Pageants c 1483:


Several 14th century manuscripts I don't have images handy from such as the Romance of Alexander has archers with bags or tucked arrows also.


Me in my 15th century archer set up with arrow bag over the shoulder:

James Barker
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 24 Jul, 2008 10:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Gilleland wrote:
and last time I had a hip quiver, they asked me to put the arrows in a back quiver next time (not sure why, but I admit that I think back quivers are cooler-looking).


Have you asked them afterwards about the reason?
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jul, 2008 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette,

Something about security or liability-something-or-other, though I couldn't get much more of an answer. They seem to have odd whims about what they will or won't allow in the Fairgrounds weapon-wise. I figure it's easier to try to accommodate than to argue about historical accuracy. Worried

Given the information and sources here, I believe that I will go with the three-point harness (1, to satisfy the request of the Faire, 2, because it's the style of back quiver that feels most comfortable to me, 3, because after reading the replies, it seems somewhat plausible even if highly-unlikely).

Daniel Michaelsson wrote:

Quote:
Back quivers aren't historically inaccurate. They're shown on the Bayeux tapestry.


Quote:
As for three point baldric-belts, well, as long as it could have been feasibly made in the time period I wouldn't frett too much.


James Barker wrote:
Quote:
There are more images of quivers on the back from the low middle ages


About how long might it be feasible to continue to use a particular style of armour, weapon, or clothing if it was a family tradition and you didn't have much money to have to spend? aka. a back quiver handed down through generations of bounty hunters Wink , or family heirloom sword?


Please feel free to continue this discussion! I love learning new things about history! Does anyone have more sources that they could post? pictures? Literary sources?

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Glennan Carnie




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jul, 2008 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
About how long might it be feasible to continue to use a particular style of armour, weapon, or clothing if it was a family tradition and you didn't have much money to have to spend?


Probably until it got you killed. Which would be quite soon.

Soldiers today no doubt own hierloom pieces, some of which may date back hundreds of years. But I guarantee that wouldn't use them in combat.

If your life depends on it, you use state-of-the-art weaponry and defences, or as close as you can afford.

The argument of: "This <name your weapon> has been in my family for a thousand generations!" is a romantic fantasy, nothing more.
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Jul, 2008 3:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not saying that you would use the heirloom indefinitely, but might a quiver and/or sword be useful for several generations if properly cared for?

If each generation lasts approx. 30 years before the heirloom is passed down, then in merely 3 generations, it's lasted 90 years. Is this too far fetched to think that some people might still have used things like an out-of-date sword, or a quiver style that's considered out of date, even if it's function matches that of the current period (speed of draw, killing capability, etc.)?

To think that a Norman sword from 1075 might still be in use by 1400 would be silly, but from 1075 to 1275... It just seems to me that if someone had something that worked just fine, why would they change it?

While the term, "If it's not broke, don't fix it"... only goes so far, I would have to say that I agree with it. If a soldier didn't have to spend his life earnings on a new sword and new armour, why should he? His father's chainmail may protect him just fine. in another 50-75 years, that statement may not be true, but for the time being...

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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jul, 2008 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Gilleland wrote:
Something about security or liability-something-or-other, though I couldn't get much more of an answer. They seem to have odd whims about what they will or won't allow in the Fairgrounds weapon-wise. I figure it's easier to try to accommodate than to argue about historical accuracy. Worried


Ah, too bad, because I was genuinely curious about that--I still can't figure out what safety issues might arise from a hip quiver that wouldn't plague a back quiver as well, at least as long as the users are careful.
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Wed 30 Jul, 2008 6:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't make heads or tails of it either...

But, that's what they want.

I'll see if maybe I can make more sense of it when I go next season. Confused

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Ville Vinje




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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

How cab you have evidence that it MIGHT be historical?
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Nathan Gilleland





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PostPosted: Thu 31 Jul, 2008 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ville,

I'm not sure I understand the question. If you're wondering what I would consider to be evidence, then I would say that surviving pieces would be the best evidence, but depictions in period artwork, records of such items being used, etc. would be acceptable evidence to me.

That and whether or not such an item could be feasibly constructed in the period in question also holds sway in my mind.

[/i]

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Elling Polden




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PostPosted: Sat 02 Aug, 2008 6:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The most historically safe would be to carry a arrow bag over the shoulder.
The arrow bag is simply a tube of (waxed) cloth, with a wood/leather spacer to keep the fletchings appart, and tied together on the top and bottom.
Unlike a quiver, the arrow bag is made to keep the arrows dry and and in good shape during transportation. Most likely, one would carry the arrows in the bag (holding 12 or 24 arrows, depending on where you where) and transfer arrows to the belt when you wanted to be ready to fire.
And the bags would almost certainly be carried on the back.

"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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