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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sat 09 Oct, 2010 10:36 pm    Post subject: A "Form-Fitting" Cuirass?         Reply with quote

I have been looking for a new breast and backplate for a time, specifically something resembling the one or two-piece Milanese designs of the 15th century. As I've searched, I have found a trend of globose, pot-bellied, or otherwise more rounded forms around the stomach. I was wondering if getting something fitted a little more closely to the gut would be problematic in terms of maneuverability or otherwise be historically inaccurate? I like to know I'm sporting a believable kit, but would rather not have my friends joke that I look pregnant whenever I don my breastplate.
I would like to be accurate whilst looking my best, but when it comes down to it, historical accuracy is my priority and that passion is strong enough that I'll put up with a little joking if the alternative is picking something inaccurate or not being able to bend over. Still, I'm asking my knowledgeable friends here if I have to settle for one or the other?
Thanks everyone,
-Quinn

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Blaz Berlec




Location: Podgorje, Kamnik, Slovenia, Europe
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

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Posts: 386

PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Actually, Milanese cuirasses aren't "globose, pot-bellied, or otherwise more rounded forms around the stomach" - the waist line is quite high and falls on the belly, it's the chest area that is globose and exaggerated:

http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/782BAF...93965e.jpg

It's the fashion thing, dragging from the 14th century, where even civil clothes were stuffed to give the wearer that coveted "pidgeon-brested look". Also, a lot of reproductions are not exactly following the originals.


Extant 15th Century German Gothic Armour
Extant 15th century Milanese armour
Arming doublet of the 15th century
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sun 10 Oct, 2010 5:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ah, I can see what you're saying quite well from that image. It makes perfect sense, too, to have the armor protrude out in either direction of a "pivot point" like the stomach.
Thanks for the clarification. I must be looking at too many poor reproductions.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Hendrik De Coster




Location: Belgium
Joined: 20 Jan 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

here are some pictures of my reproduction italian breastplate. by now i've done some changes of my own to make the fit even thighter but i'm guessing you can clearly see there's no pregnant belly as you described;)


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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Clearly not. You know, I think I see how I misinterpreted things. I have seen many breasplates by themselves, and I must have assumed that the faulds began at the hips, when in truth they begin at the naval. With my perception about four inches off, I therfore assumed the curvature of the chest was instead a curvature of the stomach. Seeing it on an actual person makes it obvious that's not the case.
Thanks for clearing things up.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Hendrik De Coster




Location: Belgium
Joined: 20 Jan 2007

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Tue 12 Oct, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

it's a mistake quite a lot of people make, including armourers so don't blame yourself;)
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Zac Evans




Location: London
Joined: 26 Dec 2006

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 1:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quinn W. wrote:
Clearly not. You know, I think I see how I misinterpreted things. I have seen many breasplates by themselves, and I must have assumed that the faulds began at the hips, when in truth they begin at the naval. With my perception about four inches off, I therfore assumed the curvature of the chest was instead a curvature of the stomach. Seeing it on an actual person makes it obvious that's not the case.
Thanks for clearing things up.


Its actually a result of seeing too many reproductions. Most repros I saw for quite a while were formed as you describe. Here is the picture my cuirass is being made from:



As you can see, they actually make you look skinny when they're done right. We're at the third fitting with my cuirass and we haven't even done the backplate yet. That's how much you need to get your armourer to work on it. You won't get an authentic finish unless you do.
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Mihai Ionita




Location: Romania
Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 5:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That armour would fit the 1470s, right?

Actually, when is the illustration from? That style looks like Export Italian armour made for a customer with German passions, judging by the generally Italian form of the whole harness and the German-specific sharper decorations.
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Zac Evans




Location: London
Joined: 26 Dec 2006

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 6:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mihai Ionita wrote:
That armour would fit the 1470s, right?

Actually, when is the illustration from? That style looks like Export Italian armour made for a customer with German passions, judging by the generally Italian form of the whole harness and the German-specific sharper decorations.


Exactly right. It's a painting of saint Michael, from this triptych in the national gallery:

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/a...and-saints

It's going to be so beautiful.
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Mihai Ionita




Location: Romania
Joined: 17 Dec 2008

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You know, I think I've actually seen this painting in person. I visited the National Galleries last summer and I think I spent the better part of an hour in the Medieval section of the museum. I swear, those Venetian and Dutch portraits were some of the most beautiful pieces of art I've ever seen, beautiful in their simplicity (usually the person posing for the picture and a black background) and (this is something that appeals to me, personally) in the fact that the painters tried to capture the subject as accurately and realistically as possible, trying to create a sort of medieval photograph.

The armour is, however, German as opposed to my previous interpretation of Italian armour. At least I got the years right.
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Zac Evans




Location: London
Joined: 26 Dec 2006

Posts: 151

PostPosted: Wed 13 Oct, 2010 9:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mihai Ionita wrote:

The armour is, however, German as opposed to my previous interpretation of Italian armour. At least I got the years right.


The style is german, but there are heavy italian influences in the construction, so you were right on both.
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