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Ben P.




Location: Mountainous Terrain
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PostPosted: Sun 11 Jan, 2009 9:12 am    Post subject: How do certain types/eras of armor interact with other?         Reply with quote

Well how do they? for example laminta with gorget ? or gothic armor with a great helm?
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 7:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

depends on what you mean by 'interact'

Sometime stuff will work, sometimes it won't. It is dependent on the particular pieces. Some museums routinely display things that weren't meant to go together. And there are definitely folks in some re-enactment groups that wear stuff that doesn't go together (and occasionally they'll wonder out loud why something is uncomfortable...)

Arms, for example, some have a rolled upper edge on the upper cannon. With certain spaulder or pauldron styles this may not work. Or it may sit a little funny and still function fine.

Helmets tend to be swapable, because of the space at the neck (unless you start talking about the really crazy integrated gorgets/close helms of the later 16th C that attach to the breast and back plate, but if you have one of those, why in the world would you want to wear it with the wrong thing?)

But gauntlets and arm harness - the basic form of the vambrace and cuff (length does, shape to some extent - but the size of the cuff opening relative to the size of the wrist) don't really change all that much for a long time. So you could probably easily wear an 14th C hourglass gauntlet with a late 15th C gothic harness. Similarly for the late 15th C gothic gauntlet and late 14th C arm harness.

cuisses and greaves - if you take a set of 14th/15th C upper legs and try and wear them with say a greek greave w/integrated knee - you'll likely have some problems. Even a set of 14/15th C legs without greaves can feel heavier or more uncomfortable without greaves - hence why a number of surviving pieces have indications of integration into the upper leg (pins, strap loops, etc)

But it *will* look wrong to someone who knows whats what, and possibly to those that don't if you go real overboard.

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
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Ben P.




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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jan, 2009 3:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the info sir that was most informative Happy
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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 3:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In antiquity, I am sure that there were many examples of this happening; either because of munition-grade items stocked in armouries, battlefield pickups, heirloom/inherited items, or even older items that might have be gotten at a 'good deal'. I'd actually be suprised if this was not a somewhat frequent occurance in the lower rank and file - to have items of mixed manufacture/era due to any of the above reasons.

It would be interesting to see the strangest or most-mismatched assembalage of armor on display somewhere that was actually historically worn as it is now displayed. Big Grin

J.E. Sarge
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"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

JE Sarge wrote:

It would be interesting to see the strangest or most-mismatched assembalage of armor on display somewhere that was actually historically worn as it is now displayed. Big Grin


Sadly, I think that this is basically not possible unless it was a relatively recently used set or through some miracle it stayed together (so possible, but unlikely in the long run). In my understanding, in the absence of explicit records, usually parts are displayed based on how 'typical' they are for a given period... or occasionally, what looks good together (some modern composite suits are like this - if memory serves, the Churburg S-18 is like this though the parts were apparently originally owned by the same family at least.)

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
-- Enrico Fermi
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David E. Farrell




Location: Evanston, IL
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:
Thank you for the info sir that was most informative Happy


glad to help Big Grin

AKA: 'Sparky' (so I don't need to explain later Wink )

For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother
-- King Henry, Henry V, William Shakespeare

Before I came here I was confused about this subject. Having listened to your lecture I am still confused... but on a higher level.
-- Enrico Fermi
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Jan, 2009 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

When the fortress at Rhodes fell in 1522 to Turkish besiegers they seemingly had little interest in the armour the Hospitalers had on hand as alot of it was left sitting there until it was broken up and auctioned off in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Thom Richardsson and Chip Karcheski tracked down as many of thes items as possible and assembled them in " The Armour from Medieval Rhodes " a few years back. One of the things I found interesting was that there were armets and breast plates from the 1430's still on hand and in use. These peices were nearly 100 years old at the time of the fall of the fortress and still in service. The rest of the armour spanned from the 1430's right up to the fall of the fortress so a wide array of different aged armour was seeminly being combined to equip the troops there.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 11:14 am    Post subject: Re: How do certain types/eras of armor interact with other?         Reply with quote

Ben P. wrote:
Well how do they? for example laminta with gorget ? or gothic armor with a great helm?


Not very well, I'm afraid. I can already imagine problems of fit between a Renaissance gorget and a Roman segmented armor. As for the Gothic armor with a great helm...what kind of great helm? Arguably a jousting version of the great helm was still in use during the heyday of Gothic armor.

As for the Rhodes finds, the armors may have spanned nearly a century but do we have any strong reason to suppose that pieces from widely differing periods were put together on the same man? Otherwise I suspect the Hospitalers and their soldiers were smart enough to do some preliminary visual matching in order to ensure compatibility between armor parts.
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Sun 18 Jan, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
As for the Rhodes finds, the armors may have spanned nearly a century but do we have any strong reason to suppose that pieces from widely differing periods were put together on the same man?


Nor any strong reason to suppose not. Using your logic once you don't have a full harness of the 1430 suit you're supposed to chuck the rest even if it works with other later pieces and given the thrify nature of existance at the time that doesn't make sense. Making things last and reuse were the words of the day. Chucking out an earlier harness because a few pieces of it are no longer salvagable and we can't use it with newer pieces that can fill the gap doesn't fit with the way people did things then. Today your CD player breaks you throw it out and go get a new one, they're cheap. We take for granted the " throw it out" mentality of today, but this was not how things were done then. Armour was an expensive investment and wasn't discarded simpley because a fashion changed for average folks. It was the wealthy who could afford to simpley retire ( or more often loan out ) armour as a style went out of fashion and just commision another, not the regular folks. While I certainly can't use the Rhodes armours to prove this was a widespread practice, knowing the tendencies of folks at that time to be far thritier than we are today it makes at least as much sense to surmise that older armour was used with newer armour when pieces functioned together at Rhodes as it does to surmise that completely intact suits of 100 year old armour were what was used at Rhodes in 1522. As the only pieces in the lists of " The Armour From Medieval Rhodes" from the 1430s are a breast plate and two armets, the bulk of the rest the survivals are post 1450 to the 1510's, it seems based on the actual survivng material that it is impossible to use the 1430's material without combining it with later peices to obtain fuller kits at the time of the siege. Much of the Rhodes armour is munitions, ordered as batches of helmets, or corslets, arms and legs. The combining of these items to form harness, mixing and matching would have been how alot of this armour was assembled into sets anyway.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Mon 19 Jan, 2009 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The rich and powerful would want the newest kit in the most recent style if only for " prestige " reasons and I could only see one of these rich and powerful use some older or mismatched armour bits if they lost their primary equipment and had to improvise with local stuff found in an armoury if caught in a siege and have not other available sources of top of the line armour.

At the same time a mercenary force made up of peasants, poor knights or a city militias might not care past the usability of the armour even if old and mismatched, and even more so during a revolt or siege or other emergency arming of non-full time warriors ?

There are bad matches due to function and fit and bad matches because it is offensive to the eye ! It might be offensive to the eyes in period or just to our modern sense of historical neatness.

Say, a spangenhelm mixed in with gothic plate and a kite shield using a rapier as the main weapon! Sounds fairly ugly to me and unlikely, but a bascinet 75 years out of date with gothic armour ?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 01 Feb, 2009 12:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not saying that the old armor would have been thrown out--only that I strongly doubt that pieces from one end of the date range would have been fitted to others from the opposite end. So, while I can easily see the Knights at Rhodes outfitting a man in a combination of 1430s and, say, 1460s or 1470s kit, I don't think they would have matched, say, a 1430s armet with a 1520s cuirass; if nothing else, I doubt such a combination would have been able to sit comfortably on the wearer.
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