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JE Sarge
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 5:50 am    Post subject: Examples of mismatched or anachronistic arms & armor?         Reply with quote

One thing that I am constantly wondering about is historical examples of mistmatched and/or anachonistic arms and armor. I have seen a few examples, but this is not a topic frequently discussed as a stand-alone subject. I'd like to start a discussion about this and perhaps get some good evidence in the form of references, art, and/or photos.

All too frequently, we see the modern-day WMA or living history practitioner builds their historically accurate kit. From head to toe, they are clad in well-made armor which would be crafted for and worn by someone of nobility or higher stature in antiquity. Many of us know upon sight the composition of an accurate kit within a specific time frame, and it's frequently discussed within the community: What is right? And what is wrong?

But what about history's Joe Ragbag? The guy that has walked all over Europe picking up this and that from the battlefield to create his kit, bartered with comrades, bought something odd on sale at the local smith, or even stolen things to protect himself. I have see this in the battlefield of today firsthand, I am certian it was even more apparent in antiquity where someone could not log on the internet and shoot off a Paypal payment for that new set of custom fitted spaulders or finely-crafted onion-top bascinet. What was the average poor bloke wearing when a set of armor had to be scavanged here and there by any means possible?

Naturally, this will differ thoughout history - there is not one focal point to look at.Some Gauls took Roman pieces of armor and tailored them to their liking. An underequipped Saxon may have snatched up a Norman sword from the battlefield. Some poor German lad may have looted some Italian greaves found after a skirmish. An English archer might have an antique cuirass his grandfather left him. The late Crusader who trades his ragged gambeson for a Saracen coat of maille. Certianally, the average man of lower stature and means would have picked up stuff here and there to afford himself better protection / equipment - especially in cases where his own gear was poorly crafted or non-existent..

What I am looking for is discussion and examples of this type of situation throughout history - in documentation, art, and the like.

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 6:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this, I have always found the notion that 100% of every historical kit was the latest style/make a bit hard to believe as well. I would think even for low nobility, that they may be a little more behind the times compared to wealthier nobility. I look forward to hearing others thoughts.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like this idea.
Certainly a lot of common soldiers, not to mention usually even poorer equipped support personnel would scrounge. It's done today even with far superior logistics and transport after all, it's simply a natural response to the nature of war.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 7:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

this thread reminds me abit of a passage from the book 'copperhead' b bernard cornwell focusing on a technically madeup regimentin that it didnt actually exist in all other aspects its true to history) that was partof the confederates of he american civil war this regiment was often laid wth gifts of new revolvers, bowie knives and other items like gum blankets etc to help save their sons in batle. by the time of copperhead, the second book, they had largely diched mostof the stuff and stuckwith keeping things simple
and also reminds me of bernards sharpe novels. where sharpe, notes that many soldiers, upon their first chance ditch the black wood and canvas packs of the british army and instead go for the french oxhide packs as being more comfortable on the march.
then we have sharpe himself, orginallyof the 95th, taken to wearing a 1796 heavy cavalry pattern sword as opposed to the light cavalry pattern 1796 sabre greenjacket officers SHOULD have,
hes also noted to be wearing frenchmens cavalry overalls. and the fact that his right hand man patrck harper carys a naval nock volley gun (essentally 7 barrels of a smaller calibre than the musket and rifle of the day, aranged in a honeycomb pattern set to fire all at once, with massive recoil.
while obviously sharpe is fictional, and the use ofthe heavy sabre seemsimpracticle due to its length but it shows how soliders on campaign would invariably pick up kit thats more to their liking.
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 8:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This might be a difficult topic to find examples for, at least in period art from the Middle Ages. I am not aware of many instances where warriors are shown carrying arms and armour that are deliberately anachronistic, at least not for the reason that the warriors were too poor to afford the latest equipment. My guess is that you'll have more luck consulting 14th and 15th century sources than you will looking at earlier sources.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 9:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
This might be a difficult topic to find examples for, at least in period art from the Middle Ages. I am not aware of many instances where warriors are shown carrying arms and armour that are deliberately anachronistic, at least not for the reason that the warriors were too poor to afford the latest equipment. My guess is that you'll have more luck consulting 14th and 15th century sources than you will looking at earlier sources.

and id imaine that in artwork people would very rarely be drwn wearing a cobbled together mismatch of equipment. but examples of the more up to date arms. i cold be wrong on a couple of cases thoughin terms of artwork.

but i doubt noone would truely usewhat isanachronistic, in the actual periods of history, the 15th C for example, you cant go into the future, so youd have stuff from the past and somestuff became obselete simply because it wasnt all that suited as what could be available, for example noone as far as im aware used the 2 handed daneaxe like the norse sed, the bill pollaxe and swiss halberd do a much more verstile job.
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Karl Knisley




PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello
Would a lower rank/peasant warrior,even be allowed to keep, nice, scavanged armor? If so, I know I would, trade up ,
ASAP:-)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 10:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lets add the " hand me downs " where a rich noble might give his retainers his old armour when buying the next new fashionable kit.

The less rich Knight receiving this kit from the rich noble passing along his own kit to a squire, and so on down the " food chain ".

Then there are city militia keeping old armour and arms in their armoury for emergency use that might be a generation or two out of date.

Peasant revolts digging up hidden arms or great great granddad's old spangenhelm plus armour and arms picked up on the battlefield ! Some might be a mix of very old out of date equipment but some might be current to the period kit but normally not used together and looking rather odd. Wink Question

Mercenary and bandit/outlaw bands using anything " usable " ?

Also before the 17th or 18th century there would be no official uniforms that would also dictate the look and type of kits that the common soldiers would be alloyed to " normally " carry by regulation, so a mixing and matching of kits might be less idealized than what we believe is an authentic period kit ?

Well, officers and nobles would also make their own rules when they could.

Armies, in the field even today often use the enemy's weapons when they are perceived as superior, and this probably also happened in period.

Anyway, just speculation and my opinion. Wink Laughing Out Loud

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Michael Curl




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think they are already out of business, but if you can get the journal fo the armor research society they have an article about lowland scottish armor as seen on funeral effigies, and they mentioned how they were frequently behind the times armor wise.
http://www.deremilitari.org/REVIEWS/JARS2005.htm

E Pluribus Unum
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Josh Warren




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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 11:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote






Non Concedo
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JE Sarge
Industry Professional



PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Oh, thanks for posting those! Happy

Yeah, those bascients definately look a bit antiquated compared to the rest of the armor depicted in those photos.

Any details on the artists/timeframes?

J.E. Sarge
Crusader Monk Sword Scabbards and Customizations
www.crusadermonk.com

"But lack of documentation, especially for such early times, is not to be considered as evidence of non-existance." - Ewart Oakeshott
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Nicholas A. Gaese




Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2011 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Check out this thread, its short but there's a few interesting pics that show outdated armour well past their normal time frame.

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21419

regards.
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Michael Janis




Location: Atlanta GA
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2011 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not just Joe S. Ragbag. In The Great Siege - Knights vs. Turks [MADLXV] Anatomy of a Hospitaller Victory Stephen C. Spitere gives some examples. (Published by Gutenberg Press, Tarxien Malta in 2005.) Mr. Spiteri was the curator of the Armory of the Knights Hospitaller at one time. He is a historian with several books about Malta and especially the Knights.
He mentions that much of the armour was recycled, passed down, mis-matched and modified. One particular example from a contemporary observer was of a Knight with an old Brigantine covered in red velvet with a modern helmet.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2011 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One word; Wisby. Wink
jamesarlen.com
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael ,

I have not seen the article but I'd be wary trusting effigies for dates for armour when we have Scottish records from the first few decades of the 14th that seem to indicate they were not. Same as the silly notion that English arms were old fashioned entering the 100 Years War. Jean le Bel said it and for some reason every one simply ignores the masses of other evidence for a highly biased continental.

RPM
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Craig L.




PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This thread has some related information, as does the thread that it was spawned from.
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Tyler Collins





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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2011 5:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure if this would be the right thread to ask in, but it does seem to be relevant to my question.

If one was portraying a knight or man-at-arms from a poorer family, would it be out of place to have worn a great helm with a 14th century kit? I've seen examples of great helms used in that time period for jousts and tournaments, like the frog mouth helm for example. But would it have been out of place on the battlefield?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2011 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tyler Collins wrote:
I'm not sure if this would be the right thread to ask in, but it does seem to be relevant to my question.

If one was portraying a knight or man-at-arms from a poorer family, would it be out of place to have worn a great helm with a 14th century kit? I've seen examples of great helms used in that time period for jousts and tournaments, like the frog mouth helm for example. But would it have been out of place on the battlefield?


It depends on what kind of great helm and what part of the 14th century. A true frog mouth tilting helm is a 15th century item so that's out. The idea that great helms were relegated to the joust and not used on the field doesn't hold true if we look at period art. In the first half of the century, great helms were still a top helm choice for the wealthy knight. In the second half of the century, the bascinet seems to take over but we still see great helms worn in battle in period art.

Have you checked out our Feature Article on great helms?

Happy

ChadA

http://chadarnow.com/
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Tyler Collins





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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2011 6:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've glanced over the article, but I'll go back over it; thank you. I was a bit hesitant about wearing a curiass and great helm together hence my question.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Mon 18 Jul, 2011 7:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great helms remain in use during the 1st half of the 14th fair often, it is not till the mid 1330s or even 1340 where the great helm really gets supplanted but it is still in use for decades after. You see bascinets begin replacing great helms on many men-at-arms in the early 1300s, 1310-1320 perhaps, but it will be 1330s or 1340s where the real percentages start to move.

Take a looks at Southwick's article for a great overview-
http://www.ingentaconnect.com/search/article?...mp;index=1

I do not agree with several of his conclusions, a number of other academics for example contend his dates to the Black Prince helm and Pembridge is pushing it, but it can be argued either way and is a great piece of work to start with.

If you were an esquire of a poor knightly family I would say it depends if you wear a great helm to war or not. Bascinets in period vary in cost by design and all sorts of things so often they are cheaper than great helms so poverty likely would not be the key issue. Unless of course you are using a great helm of some antiquity. As well what part of the century plays a big part of if the likelihood exists or not. Personal preference also would play a role as these helms took a beating. Region as well. Seems some places really held onto them.

Need more input...

RPM
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