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Stephen Forshaw





Joined: 27 Jul 2010

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 11:55 am    Post subject: Shield design help.         Reply with quote

Can anyone help me find accurate examples of what the designs on shields would have been like between the 12th - 14th century. Not so much designs that are heraldic in nature, but ones that are more general. I hope the way I've worded that makes sense. There is just so much out there on the internet that I'm not sure what is historically accurate and what is not. I'm sure that most of it isn't.

I used the Knights Hospitaller emblem for the first heater shield that I made, and now I am looking for other artwork to put on my next shield.

Any help would greatly be appreciated!

Stephen.
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Tue 27 Jul, 2010 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen,
welcome to myArmoury.com! You have picked a really interesting span of time to ask for shield designs. In the 13th century the first coats of arms are depicted on shields. They became necessary as the knights face was more and more concealed by helmets. The Morgan Picture Bible shows a lot of those early shield designs: http://www.themorgan.org/exhibitions/exhibOnl...nlineKings

You can find there spiral-like patterns used on old fashioned round shields aswell as elaborate heraldic coats of arms and geometric designs with no heraldic purpose on knight's shields and (rarely) infantry shields. Maybe there are also designs depicted which show a transitional state in between pure design and heraldic purposes, like the fleur de lys (which is inspired by metal fortifications on older shields surfaces but became later on a favourite design both in france and german lands (in the latter also known as Lilie or if several are combined as the Glevenrad http://de.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Dat...10183707).

There is one example of those geometric patterns: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=29553

Have a look there.

Regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Stephen Forshaw





Joined: 27 Jul 2010

Posts: 8

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jul, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply Thomas. I really liked The Morgan Picture Bible link. Great site!

I think the word "pattern" was what I was really missing from the searches I was doing. It provided me with a flood of great resources.

I will have to put up some photos of my shield when I am finished.

Thanks again for the help!
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
Likes: 4 pages
Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Wed 28 Jul, 2010 11:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Stephen,

I did the same search recently for my shield desgin, which you'll may have found in the "show your shields" thread, yet: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/download.php?id=29551

As you see it is no coat of arms at all, but my try to recreate the ornate pattern I posted in my first answer. It is taken from one of the big infantry shields depicted in the Morgan Bible. My guess is, that it is one of those transitional patterns between blank colored shields and the coats of arms.

While reenacting with this infantry shield I learned a most intresting thing: The pattern may have had some sort of psychological effect while fighting. First, from a distance, the white lines make the shield appear to be a lot smaller than it really is. Second: the pointed bows and curves toward the middle may lead the enemie's blows slightly to the center of the shield. I can't prove this theory with more evidence, yet, but I had this feeling, while using the shield in sparring. So maybe there was such a psychologic part in choosing shield patterns before the coats of arms were developed. This is no science, I know, but a feeling of mine. Perhaps other forumites had similar experiences?

Regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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