Posted: Sun 15 Nov, 2009 10:38 am Post subject: Shooting Gloves
What did medieval archers (any centuries) use for finger protection when shooting? It seems like they would have wanted to use something like a modern glove when shooting to protect their fingertips with heavy bows. There's a depiction of a German archer using a glove in this topic German Longbowman, ca. 1500, but there seem to be few other depictions of such finger protection. Is there any record of finger protection used by archers during the Middle Ages?
There's the Burgkmair painting that you've shown; and Roger Ascham in Toxophilus mentions lining the shooting glove with scarlet (fine wool) to protect the fingers.
I know of no evidence for finger protection much earlier than the sixteenth century - either in artwork or written sources.
Either it wasn't drawn by artists (for example, a tab would be too small to show) or they didn't use them.
That said, I know warbow archers who have spent a whole lifetime working with their hands metal- or wood-working and they still use a tab to protect their fingers. My guess is a tab was used but was considered too small and simple to be mentioned or drawn.
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