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Allen Foster





Joined: 17 Feb 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 247

PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 5:59 pm    Post subject: How much did an authentic hauberk weigh?         Reply with quote

I spent the day wearing my hodge podge crusader kit. It included:

Used hauberk (round ring riveted) of unknown mfg.

Brass Spangenhelm from Mercinary's Tailor

Transitional heater shield by Mercinary's Tailor

Albion Arn sword with DBK Integral belt and scabbard

Spear of unknown Origin

Leather Surcoat from Raven's wood Leather

everything worked out fine except the hauberk was so heavy that I thought I was going to pull a muscle in my back. It felt like 50 lbs. At the end of the day, I was outright exhausted.

My question is "How much should a hauberk weigh? I have a hauberk that is either too heavy or I've gotten seriously out of shape.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Nathan Beal





Joined: 02 Apr 2006

Posts: 68

PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 6:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Following weights are all from mail in the Wallace Colelction

A1 (Late C14th, short sleeved, 74cm long) - 4.5 Kg
A2 (2nd Q C15th, short sleeved, 71cm long) - 8.8 Kg
A3 (1st H C15th, long sleeved, 69cm long) - 9.0Kg
A4 (mid C15th, sleeveless, 71cm long) - 6Kg
A5 (mid C15th, sleeveless and incomplete, 72cm long) - 9.0Kg
A6 (late C15th, long sleeved, 71cm long) - 7.5Kg
A7 (C16th, long sleeved, 64cm long) - 8Kg

A17/18 (footed stockings, victorian-ish re-working of earlier mail) 6.4Kg

I don't have the oriental catalogue, there are shirts in there that that run a longer (most of these are as long a modern XL T-Shirt)

HTH
N.

Beware of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.
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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Fri 29 Oct, 2010 9:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A lot of historic mail exhibits a fair ammount of metal loss through wear on the rings, though as a rule, it was lighter then modern butted mail.
The heaviest mail shirt I've heard of was around 30 pounds (13 kg) in it's current state, I believe it's at Stirling castle.
Historic Enterprises historically accurate haubergeon weighs around 13 pounds (6 kg) in medium size, which is well within with the weights listed above.
http://historicenterprises.com/haubergeon-wed...th=101_141
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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2010 3:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Were you wearing any padded garment under it? Even a very thin one increases the confort a lot. Also, if the head hole is too large, all the weight is concentrated in a small part of your outer shoulders: passing a leather cord through the rings of the edge, and thightening and knotting it once you have the mail on, will increase the area of the shoulders that have weight on. And of course, wear a good belt over it: this way a part of the weight goes to the hips, instead to the shoulders.
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Felix R.




Location: Germany
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2010 3:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The leather cord is agood idea. Maybe this was a way to get the maille tight besides some tailoring. When one has a look at the detailed listings of maille shirst tailoring it is only a few rings here and there, that do help, but won´t give the tight fit seen in artwork.
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Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 552

PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2010 8:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
A lot of historic mail exhibits a fair amount of metal loss through wear on the rings, though as a rule, it was lighter then modern butted mail.
The heaviest mail shirt I've heard of was around 30 pounds (13 kg) in it's current state, I believe it's at Stirling castle.
Historic Enterprises historically accurate haubergeon weighs around 13 pounds (6 kg) in medium size, which is well within with the weights listed above.
http://historicenterprises.com/haubergeon-wed...th=101_141

Its also possible (but hard to test) that mail was heavier on average when it was the main defense. A lot of surviving hauberks would have been intended for wear in combination with plate defenses. And like you say, a new hauberk would probably be heavier than one which had been used for a century or three. But Nathan's measurements are very valiable in showing a range of values.
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Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
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PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2010 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not historical, but of historically correct size rings for the smaller sized ring maille shirts I have seen pics of: I have a stainless welded mail haubergeon with sleeves reaching a bit past the elbows and ending mid thigh in XXL that weighs in at 8 pounds.

I could be wrong but a lot of modern made maille tends to the thicker wire bigger ring end of the historical size of ring spectrum and may be heavier than most maille in period by 30% ( Just an estimate ).

When modern makers started to made riveted maille they continued to use the same wire gauge and ring sizes that needed to be used with butter maille so that their riveted maille may be heavier than need or was needed with period maille.

Riveted need not be that heavy in gauge to be effective and using larger rings in modern maille is partly to save on the number of rings needed to make a hauberk as I assume that when using the larger numbers of smaller rings is takes more time to make the maille and increases the costs ? This would make using smaller diameter and denser maille more expensive today, but in period the priorities would have been how protective it could be rather than cost/time savings.

You can see it in the pic, the welded maille on the left ( me ), large ring butted maille in comparison on the right ( my friend ).



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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Sat 30 Oct, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Manning wrote:
Jojo Zerach wrote:
A lot of historic mail exhibits a fair amount of metal loss through wear on the rings, though as a rule, it was lighter then modern butted mail.
The heaviest mail shirt I've heard of was around 30 pounds (13 kg) in it's current state, I believe it's at Stirling castle.
Historic Enterprises historically accurate haubergeon weighs around 13 pounds (6 kg) in medium size, which is well within with the weights listed above.
http://historicenterprises.com/haubergeon-wed...th=101_141

Its also possible (but hard to test) that mail was heavier on average when it was the main defense. A lot of surviving hauberks would have been intended for wear in combination with plate defenses. And like you say, a new hauberk would probably be heavier than one which had been used for a century or three. But Nathan's measurements are very valiable in showing a range of values.


Actually, that one surviving viking mail (Gjermundbu) shirt is made with wire of roughly 16 gauge, about what modern butted mail is made with.
Most of the surviving shirts we have are after from after the "age of mail" and are of a finer weave than the viking shirt. (probably to be worn with plate as you said.)
I'm just not aware of any surviving shirts from the golden age of mail.
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