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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Fri 04 Feb, 2011 8:43 pm    Post subject: New Breastplate         Reply with quote

I just purchased a new breastplate for my early 15th century kit to upgrade from my poor-fitting GDFB one (which you can see around the middle of pg 34 of the "Show us your Kits and Harnesses" thread). I got this one from Bill at South Tower Armoury in Ottowa, Canada, a place I have not heard mentioned on these forums before.
I was originally going to go with a traditional Milanese-style breastplate, but decided to go with this. I was skeptical because I was unfamiliar with this type of breastplate, but Bill understood my concern for historical accuracy and assured me that it was inspired by existing Bavarian breastplates he had seen. I trust him, but I also admit I have never seen a breastplate of this sort of three-piece design and wondered if some of the members here could comment on its historical accuracy (or at least plausibility). After a little tweaking I can say it fits much more comfortably than my old breastplate and is surprisingly maneuverable. I requested that he add the subtle keel in front to help it fit the style of the rest of my kit and give it a little Milanese influence, but otherwise it is his design.
I'm sorry I don't have pictures where I'm actually wearing it. I did not have a squire handy at the time. If you think it would give you a better idea, I can see what I can do.
Happy to answer any questions I can,
Quinn



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"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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Joe Fults




Location: Midwest
Joined: 02 Sep 2003

Posts: 3,446

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 7:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking at his webpage its pretty clear that he claims his designs are only very loosely historical for the most part. People who are nuts about authenticity do not appear to be his primary market. That being the case, unless he provided a specific reference armour that this was based on, I'd be inclined to assume it is a liberal interpretation of something, or several somethings, that the creator has seen (perhaps or perhaps not firsthand).

Beyond that I can't speak with reasonable authority to the accuracy of, so I'll refrain from throwing out uninformed opinion, but I would love to see it on you to get a better idea of its fit. It does look like his customers are pretty happy with what they get from him, and it does look like he enjoys what he is doing.

"Our life is what our thoughts make it"
-Marcus Aurelius

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."
-John F. Kennedy


Last edited by Joe Fults on Sat 05 Feb, 2011 4:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Thomas R.




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

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Quinn,

I was at first a little bit sceptic, like Joe, if your new harness was made after a historical piece, but look what I have found:

http://www.fischerauktionen.ch/UserData/Download_15444_00.pdf

It's a document from an auction. It states that it is a german gothic harness made in Nuremberg around 1470/90.
And its breast is made from three pieces!

Could well be, that your armorer saw this or a similar piece? Since it really was made in Bavaria...

Best wishes,
Thomas



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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 527

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 11:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That cuirass is... pretty odd. Confused There is a WORLD of difference between it and a standard 'German gothic' construction. Just making it from three pieces does not make it at all the same! Wink
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Thomas R.




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

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 11:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
That cuirass is... pretty odd. Confused There is a WORLD of difference between it and a standard 'German gothic' construction. Just making it from three pieces does not make it at all the same! Wink


I think we all do know that. But at least the maker didn't make up the three-things-part... Wink

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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Quinn,

I'm certainly not the best expert on armour around here, but I'll try to help you regarding the historicity of this "three-piece" design.

Most examples I find seem to be gothic, from the end of the 15th. First, here is an example from the end of the 15th century, by Helmschmied, for then archduke and future emperor Maximilian :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellenm1/4299143143/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ellenm1/4299890116/
While the 2nd and 3rd pieces are closer from one another, it seems to me like the same kind of construction.
Another in the same style/period :
http://www.flickr.com/photos/unforth/3224244626/
Closer to yours in look but still same style/period:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thoog/986307821/

Hope someone will chime in with pieces that hit closer to home...

Cheers,

Simon
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't really mind that the examples employ more gothic styling. Even if no examples exist, that still puts it in the realm of historic plausibility, and there's no reason it couldn't have been constructed simply with less fluting. What does concern me is that none of those examples seemed to be articulating. Even if made from seperate sections of steel, they look to be riveted to create a single rigid unit.
"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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Simon G.




Location: Lyons, France
Joined: 02 Jun 2008

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 238

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't really mind that the examples employ more gothic styling. Even if no examples exist, that still puts it in the realm of historic plausibility, and there's no reason it couldn't have been constructed simply with less fluting. What does concern me is that none of those examples seemed to be articulating. Even if made from seperate sections of steel, they look to be riveted to create a single rigid unit.

It's hard to say whether or not these are articulated from the photos... All it would take would be slits on the inside of the armours to give the rivets some "wriggle room".
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sat 05 Feb, 2011 2:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, I just assumed they were not, since they fit so tightly together. That would certainly be impressive if they did have even a small degree of articulation. It certainly shows the skill of the armorers to be able to create something so perfectly fitted that it doesn't even look like separate pieces.
"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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