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Nick Esposito




Location: Northern Virgina, US
Joined: 11 Dec 2010

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: Maille Sabatons         Reply with quote

During what period were Maille sabatons worn with full plate armor? And How did these compete in popularity to the Plate Sabatons which we know existed as early as 1340, from the John D'Abernon funeral brass.

This Image shows a Knight of The Battle of Agincourt, In a full Plate harness, with the exeption of the Maille Sabatons.

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Robert Hinds




Location: Whitewater, Wisconsin USA
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PostPosted: Thu 23 Dec, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know that during the 15th century the milanese suits usually had mail sabatons instead of plate. I really don't know why, you'd think for better mobility, But the plate sabatons on german suits seem to have excellent flexiblity.
"Young knight, learn to love God and revere women; thus your honor will grow. Practice knighthood and learn the Art that dignifies you, and brings you honor in wars." -Johannes Liechtenauer

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Christian G. Cameron




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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 5:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm NO armour expert.

However, I'm okay on 14th c. costume, and I'm going to speculate that there was a long period (and I'm basing this on brasses from English cathedrals) where mail CHAUSSES with feet were simply an "automatic" part of armor, and various plates on the legs--knee cops, cuisses, and greaves--were distinct add ons on top of mail chausses.

At some point, the mail chausses seem to have "withered away" and while people seem to have put voiders on arming chausses, there's some point--1380? 1420? when no one seems to have full mail chausses anymore.

BUT for a while the feet remain chain. Looking at brasses, it seems to me that there ARE plate feet as early as Hawkwood's memorial in Florence, but there are mail feet as late as --hmm--1420?

I stand ready to be buried in corrections, but I'll note this one thing--fashion trends in military gear are usually pretty conservative, so the continuation first of the mail chausses and later of the mail foot making you LOOK as if you have mail chausses would be pretty on par with other military fashion trends.

Christian G. Cameron

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Christian G. Cameron




Location: Toronto, Canada
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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

PS--I'm building my harness for Agincourt 2015, myself...I'm going with plate sabatons bc I'm sort of going with Hawkwood's armour, but I think it's a matter of taste. Well, and cash. Happy
Christian G. Cameron

Qui plus fait, miex vault

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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 11:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My 2 cents (US).

This is pure speculation on my part, and I have not one iota of empirical evidence, but I wrestled with this issue a lot and these are the ideas I've come up with.

A. Men who face the real possibility of death in battle, or elsewhere, are very resistant to changing anything until they are shown that the new gizmo is truly better than "the way we've always done it". This is definitely the case in aviation for instance. So it took a while for the old guard to accept them new fangled plate sabotons.

B. Old tech seldom is instantly vaporized out of existence once the replacement tech arrives on the scene. The two usually co-exist for some time, and given that things moved at the pace of the horse during the middle ages, I can see things taking decades or more to fully transform.

C. Some men may have just preferred to sacrifice some protection for greater flexibility and mobility. This is evident all the time in modern combat as some GI's will reduce their armor load out to be able to move quicker and or replace the weight of the plate with more ammo, etc.

D. Some men may have thought that plate sabotons increased their risk of getting a foot trapped in a stirrup and subsequently being dragged by their horse. People will often make decisions based on their perception of risk rather than the factual probability of a particular thing actually happening.

E. In order to reduce costs, either the manufacturer's or the customer's, some armorers may have offered the maille option as a price reducing tactic and or just convinced the customer to go with them and thereby increasing the gross profit on the harness for the armorer.

F. The maille sabotons seemed to hang on in Italy and southern Europe longer and it may because they were a bit cooler on the foot in hot climates that plate would probably be.

G. It may have taken armoers some time to work out all the design and fabrication bugs for plate sabotons since the foot is very sensitive to chafing and biting from any kind of foot wear. Basically, the armorers were trying to do with steel what some shoe makers still have trouble doing with leather and fabric.

Or any combination of any or all of the above, or perhaps none of the above. Quick, somebody invent a time machine and go ask a 15th century armorer what was up with the maille sabotons!

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 3:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mail Sabatons may have been worn under plate sabatons in England from 1320-late 14th century.
Thay might have been wearing voiders on their ankles too, though, it's impossible to be certian.
I think the D' Abernon effigy is actually from the 1320's, as it better matches effigies from that date.
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Jonathon Janusz





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PostPosted: Fri 24 Dec, 2010 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I remember correctly, the Avant harness has been displayed with mail sabatons. That would be 1460-ish(?).
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Felix R.




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PostPosted: Sat 25 Dec, 2010 3:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would a maille sabaton be a better solution when fighting on foot? There might be less possibility to be cut compared to horse back fightinh when the foot is more or less on shoulder level with enemy foot. On foot it would just need some cutting resistence or piercing resistance but better mobility.
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Larry Bohnham





Joined: 20 May 2010

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PostPosted: Sun 26 Dec, 2010 8:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not so sure the maille sabotons would be better for foot combat. If I were facing an opponent with those sabotons and I had a longer reach weapon, say a poleaxe or spear, I'd definitely be looking to poke a hole or two in my opponent's foot knowing that the maille would be somewhat more vulnerable to a thrust than a cut.

According to the book Knight, Noble Warrior of England 1200 -1600[i], Maille sabotons made a comeback in the mid to late 16th cent but with solid plate toe caps. Medieval armour was not only battle defense but also a power/wealth statement by the privileged class of that society and it went through swings of fashion just as everyday clothes did. I think that in some cases the fashion statement won out over the combat effectiveness of armour development. Either that or some armourers had a back log of old school maille sabotons and convinced some customers that they just had to have them in order to get rid of old inventory at a profit, but that's just the cynic in me (chuckle). People haven't changed much in 10,000 years, really.

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Anders Kramer




Location: Denmark
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Dec, 2010 11:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Besides from the obvious transitional perspective (armour evolution wise), I think the reason for keeping the maille sabbatons would be a practical one. No matter how well you are able to fit and shape armour, you will never be able to do a perfect non-restricting harnish, which is also why, as mentioned, you have to fit the armour for its purpose. A maille sabbaton would allow better mobility with less restriction while still being somewhat protected.
When on horse, the foot will be in danger from footmen attacks and therefore the best protection is needed. But when dismounted it is highly unlikely that your feet will be the place you get hit (which is also why later period footmen in many cases stops the armour by the knee) and therefore it would not be unlikely that some would prefer better manoeuvrability to better protection.

The above shown armour is, I think, clearly meant for battle on foot. Besides from the mail sabbatons, the triangular skrit/tasset makes sitting in a saddle from that period very impractical if not impossible. The period of the armour is also the period in which dismounted knights becomes more and more ordinary.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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Location: upstate NY
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Dec, 2010 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nick, where is that recreated harness located? It is a bit odd. Not at all typical of the English style of the time, and seems odd for for a French harness, too.

When researching the history of Joan of Arc for a film project, I was impressed by how many French soldiers were wounded in the foot by missile weapons. Good sabatons would be a very expensive pieces of armour, needing to be properly fitted or they would be almost as much a pain to wear as illfitting shoes. Pictorial and sculptural evidence shows many soldiers in full plate except for their feet, which often show nothing but their shoes. particularly in France and Germany. Plate sabatons were clearly at the bottom of the priority list, but as noted above, if you could afford them, they were a good idea when fighting on foot, when most of these events occurred. More plate than mail is shown in Italy, curiously enough, but one Italian plate sabaton I have handled was clearly meant to go over the bottom of the greave rather than under it, and might well have fit over a mail sabaton. Italian heavy cavalry armour was extremely redundant, protectionwise.

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Sam Blincoe





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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 1:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello.
Can I please ask for some more information on voiders for ankles to be worn with sabatons. I was wondering how they worked been trying to find more information on them but I am failing at the moment.

thanks

Sam
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Kyle Glover





Joined: 12 Dec 2013

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PostPosted: Tue 28 Jan, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ralph Fitzherbert's effigy shows maille filling the gap between the sabatons and the greaves.

His fathers effigy is very similar but has no maille in the same gap

Nicholas died in 1473 and Ralph in 1483 although the effigies may be from the early 1490s.



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Ralph Fitzherbert Sabatons.JPG


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Nicholas Fitzherbert Sabatons.jpg

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John Jørgensen




Location: Bornholm,Denmark
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 7:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

can anyone help me with a question
how was the mail secured under the foot on the (Avant harness) milanese mail sabaton ?
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 8:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are usually strapped and pointed on. Sadly those bits don't survive.

Mail sabatons on Italian armours are pretty common. As as for whether they are best for mounted or dismounted, I'd say both. Look at the San Romano painting for example.

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Iagoba Ferreira





Joined: 15 Sep 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug, 2015 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the Museo de Armería de Alava we have at least an early XVI century armour with mail sabatons, with the "square" tip in plate, like the fashion of the time. I have never been able to examine them with the cabinet open, but they look good.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 03 Aug, 2015 6:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Point the mail through the toe, and let the spur hold them tight at the instep.

As early as the inventory of Louis X in 1316 we see a distinction between mail chausses (hose) and mail chaussons (boots). I'm not sure if those are knee-highs, or simply mail "sabatons".

http://ducange.enc.sorbonne.fr/ARMATURA3
Item 3. paires de chauces de fer.
Item 8. paires de chauçons, et un chauçon par dessus.


Item, 3 pair of chausses of iron ,(i.e. mail)
Item, 8 pair of chaussons, and one chausson above.
(i.e. 8 1/2 pairs: Someone is always losing a sock.)

Dr. Strong's effigy analysis has a bar graph showing the change in type sabatons by decade. This gives some idea of the adoption curve from mail to plate.
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effigy/All-Effigies.htm

Quote:
Sabatons

Full means sabatons consisting of multiple lames that cover the tops and down the sides of the feet.

Scale means sabatons that are comprised of small scales.

Tops means sabatons consisting of plates that cover only the tops of the feet.

Shoes means feet without any obvious defenses.

Mail means feet defended entirely by mail.

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