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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 9:45 am    Post subject: Your Opinion of This Armour         Reply with quote

I'm looking for an affordable Italian or German breast in the style of ca. 1500 for a project. What are your opinions of this piece? Unless the plackart is welded, I'd be taking apart the piece and can correct some minor problems as I work on my project.

It seems decent and I've heard good reports. Most or all of the breasts of this type I'm seeing in The Medieval Armour From Rhodes have faulds, and I wonder if the absence of a fauld here is a problem. I see faulds at all economic/service levels in German art of the period, so it doesn't appear to be a matter of status. Was it simply a matter of preference? Would it be reasonable for a lightly armoured man-at-arms of the period to wear this breast? There's a great photo of Peter Johnsson wearing late 15th c. man-at-arms kit, and his German breast does not have a fauld.

Thanks for the help!



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-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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Peter Johnsson
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In my case it was more a matter of not getting the armour finished in time for the event (despite all my efforts), rather than an actual preference.
I am not an armour guy, but I feel the armour I wore in that pic was less than complete.

I am sure there are those who know these things better who can provide more solid advice.
If I were you, though, I would look for a breast plate that included a fauld. My impression is like yours: it seems to be the the rule across the spectrum from low to high quality.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, Peter. That confirms what I've seen. Still, the piece you wore for that shoot was beautiful! Did you add a fauld/tassets later?

I was thinking of getting this piece and adding a fauld as a basic armouring project, so the missing fauld isn't necessarily a death blow if the rest of the piece seems o.k.

-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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Torsten F.H. Wilke




Location: Irvine Spectrum, CA
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, I believe most faulds historically wouldn't have been manufactured integrally anyway.

The proportions of the breastplate photo you posted look very good, aside from the armholes seeming to be a tad large. I would support your idea of simply buying that piece and adding some of your own handiwork, since you seem to have a knack for doing things well and paying attention to detail.

Btw, the plackart in the photo does not seem to be welded, just riveted.


Last edited by Torsten F.H. Wilke on Mon 10 Nov, 2008 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have to agree, the plackart seems to be riveted, not wielded. And since faulds are not part of the briestplate itself it is quite possible that whoever offered you this armour part expects you to order/purchase them separately. The shape of the breastplate looks allright, but, of course, one can only be sure when the item is seen "in action" - i.e. worn by it's intended user.
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Chuck Russell




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

for 1500 i think the plackart is a little low is it not? it looks more like an early 1400s to 1450s style more so than the later. but that being said a fauld and tassets are not hard to do at all.
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Jeff Kaisla




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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 5:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not bad. I agree the arm openings look a little large, also I would get a measurement across the chest to make sure it isn't too wide for your arms. It can be uncomfortable, painful even if its not sized right for you, chafing and bruising the front of your shoulder joint. This is very pronounced with longsword where you have both your hands in front of you most of the time. I believe this piece is around $175.00....for that price you could have it customized. My breast plate has collapsing gussetts on slot rivets in the front, so I get more protection across the chest while minimizing chafing of the shoulders. Faulds and tassets wouldnt be a big deal to do either. Merc Tailor does 3 piece tassets for around $25 US...one piece tassets are even cheaper.

Do you have a price range in mind or were you just attracted to this particular piece?

Also, concerning GDFB's product, I own one of theie Sallet helms and am quite pleased with the quality. The finish in some spots is not perfect but for the price, quite well made and stout.
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Christian Henry Tobler
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 5:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sean,

I have this breastplate and for the price, it's excellent. I'm a 40" in the chest and I wear the 'standard' size.

I just wore it for a seminar in Delaware this past weekend. The top and plackart are riveted, not welded.

The only major criticism I had was that the bottom corners of the fauld were quite pointy, so I filed them down a tad. That was about 5 minutes of work.

Again, such a piece doesn't compete with something from a top-level armourer, but as the owner of much fine equipment, I was certainly unashamed to wear it.

I hope this helps...

Christian

Christian Henry Tobler
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Author, In Saint George's Name: An Anthology of Medieval German Fighting Arts
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Jeff Kauffeldt




Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 10 Nov, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this is a great piece for someone who just wants to have an adverage solders kit. I have it too, and the GDFB Millanies bellows sallet and the pig face basinet and I find this breast plate looks great with both.
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 6:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, folks! All very helpful. Sounds like it's a good value for somebody who views it as the foundation for a project. The plackart does seem a bit low, but I'll have another look at The Medieval Armour From Rhodes and see if there's any precedent for that in the period.

I'm reworking my sallet, developing a proper brass border in the Milanese style of ca. 1500. I'll most likely re-blue that, and I thought it might be fun to give a breast the same treatment--polished and blued, with a matching border along the top edge of the plackart (something I've seen in Italian artwork of the period). Those pieces should display nicely with my modified Dürer.

By the way, this is a Get Dressed For Battle piece sold through by-the-sword.com--$164 shipped. Not bad at all if I can manage the fauld. A good project for 2009.

-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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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 7:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Then, of course, there's this beauty from Francois L'Archeveque, and it's only about $50 more than the GDFB. It's a good match for an Italian breast of ca. 1490 shown in TMAFR. It'd be a bit more work, but I like the form better. Also, I wouldn't make an edging for this one because it has no plackart--there's a big time saving right there.


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-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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Torsten F.H. Wilke




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 10:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean, the last one seems to be more suited to a lean body. Looks like it is very nicely made, too...
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Jeff Kaisla




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, that last one has a very nice shape to it. I like the subtle medial ridge. There is also a fair bit more material below the waistline to attatch faulds to. Its a very clean looking piece for sure. Whats the thickness of the steel?
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D. Austin
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Sean,

I'd definitely have to say, the L'Archeveque piece is the way to go. It's a lot more elegant and does certainly have an Italian feel to it, which I think would suit your sallet. Considering the amount of work you could be putting into this project, an extra $50 at the beginning for that extra bit of refinement is probably justifiable.

Darren.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The second option definitely looks the better of the two - lines are cleaner and better defined, the only thing that would really matter for you would be if it will be comfortable enugh to fight in (as was menthioned by Jeff, it is extra important when fighting with two-handed weapon).
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 11 Nov, 2008 9:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depending on what class Man-at-arms you wish to be they boht look OK. Have seen plenty of existant 2nd half of the 15th breastplates that are close to both. So from a historic angle you can go either way.

RPM
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2008 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks! Your advice, plus another review of the lit, plus this thread...:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=14691

...have me leaning more toward L'Archeveque or another independent manufacturer. Suggestions are welcome.

FYI: The single-piece Italian breast becomes more commonplace ca. 1500, and the slim profile of the L'Archeveque example and one in TMAFR apparently reflects Austrian and German fashion of that period, which I find especially appealing (from TMAFR). And, yes, it seems that the Italian plackart creeps up the breast throughout the century, reaching to the neck in the latest examples (Oakeshott), just before the single-piece construction predominates. The GDFB plackart isn't necessarily ahistorical, just a bit earlier than I want.

So, which one of you is going to buy my bevor so I can help keep some talented armourer out of the homeless shelter? Laughing Out Loud

-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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Mark Shier
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Nov, 2008 4:22 pm    Post subject: L'Archeveque         Reply with quote

I've been happy dealing with Francois. He's made late 14C arms, gauntlets and closed greaves for me.
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