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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Breastplate identification, please.         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

I'm new here and hope this is the right place to post this. Please pardon me if it isn't.

This breastplate has been sitting on my father's pump organ in the dinning room for at least 50 years and my mother wants to 'pass it along' but I don't know anything about it. I've searched but can't find anything like it and my father is no longer able to give any kind of help as to who, what, when, where or why. Could somebody please point me in the right direction?

Thanks!

I've added 2 more photos, in case they might help. Thank you.



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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 9:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Chris, could we get some pictures of the inside? Off the top of my head it looks like a mid to late 17th century breast plate that has possibly been decorated later for use as a theatrical piece. The decorative accents seem to be later than the construction of the breast plate itself.
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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 9:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Allan,

Thank you for the reply. It wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that it may have been decorated since dad did do stage for many years, but I can't remember him ever picking anything up for that purpose or inheriting one.

Anyway, here is a shot of the inside. If it would help, let me know what other photo(s) you might need.

The nuts on the back all seem to be hand-made.

Chris



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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 10:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Allan,

Here are some close-up.

Chris



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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Do you have any idea what this weights Chris?
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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 10:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Do you have any idea what this weights Chris?


Hello Allan,

I have an old postal scale for heavier packages and on that it says that it weighs about 8 1/2 lbs.

Chris
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Allan Senefelder
Industry Professional



Location: Upstate NY
Joined: 18 Oct 2003

Posts: 1,563

PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

We that weight is right for a fighting breast plate. I'm going to stick with my earlier call, breast plate, second half of 17th century with later decorative elements, possibly for theatrical or pagent use.
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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
We that weight is right for a fighting breast plate. I'm going to stick with my earlier call, breast plate, second half of 17th century with later decorative elements, possibly for theatrical or pagent use.


Hello Allan,

Thank you for your considered input. Your help is very much appreciated.

Following up on your suggestion of the decoration being for theatrical or pagent, I've spent some time looking for the emblem since a theatrical piece would attempt to be representive of a particular time/place/era/event in order to add the element of realism (unless it was something pure fantasy, which is less likely other than in the 20th century and the fittings on the back look to be older than that to me) or, for a pagent, again to portray a time or era. Alas, nothing similar, yet.

Another thing interesting about the piece is that, to my mind, it would seem that it was originally made for a slighter person. It is useless to fit it to me since I'm a shorter woman, but even fitting in to my sig. other who is 6' and thin (150 lbs), it is almost too small and he says that if it had padding, it would not have enough room for any kind of a uniform beneath it. It would most certainly have never fit my dad who is/was a baritone and has a wide chest. But, perhaps someone will come across the thread and recognize something about it.

Again, thank you for your help!

Chris
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 8:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It has a VERY Victorian theatrical look about it, but I'm not sure why anyone would have gone to the trouble of creating and mounting that applique (creating something non-historical) for theatrical use. Why not just paint? Also, historical accuracy would not have entered into the equation. Even ostensibly scholarly Victorian writing and illustrations are filled with romantic inaccuracies.
-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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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 9:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
It has a VERY Victorian theatrical look about it, but I'm not sure why anyone would have gone to the trouble of creating and mounting that applique (creating something non-historical) for theatrical use. Why not just paint? Also, historical accuracy would not have entered into the equation. Even ostensibly scholarly Victorian writing and illustrations are filled with romantic inaccuracies.


Hello Sean,

Yes, I have to whole-heartedly agree that between creating and the mounting of that applique, if this was for a theatrical effort, someone had more time than sense.

I suppose it is because there is a little spot in the back of my mind that keeps nagging as to whether it had been for some military personage or a descendent who had it done for parade or ceremonial purposes, that I keep trying to research it.

Thank you for your thoughts. Every little bit helps open up more avenues of pursuit.

Chris
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 1:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It sort of makes me think of some sort of ceremonial Napoleonic era heavy lancers/cuirassier armour ? Just a wild guess. Wink Confused WTF?!

The ceremonial Presidential guard's armour of some mid 19th century banana republic maybe? French Napoleon III lancers in Mexico ? If not literally these examples I think you get what I'm guessing at !

That or a movie prop, or Victorian Opera prop or decoration?

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Christopher Walton




Location: Ventura, CA
Joined: 09 Oct 2010

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Mon 11 Oct, 2010 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
It sort of makes me think of some sort of ceremonial Napoleonic era heavy lancers/cuirassier armour ? Just a wild guess. Wink Confused WTF?!

The ceremonial Presidential guard's armour of some mid 19th century banana republic maybe? French Napoleon III lancers in Mexico ? If not literally these examples I think you get what I'm guessing at !

That or a movie prop, or Victorian Opera prop or decoration?



Hello Jean,

I can conger up a great image of Napoleonic lancers in Mexico - I like that one. Laughing Out Loud And, frankly, the Presidential guard of a Banana Republic just might not be that far off, either. I hadn't though about of those.

Oh well, what's that they say? 'No rest for the wicked'. Wink More avenues to explore. Thank you very much.

Chris
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