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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 6:12 pm    Post subject: A 14th century kit         Reply with quote

I am looking at putting together a 14th century kit targeting the last quarter of the century. I have been studying some effigies and have been consulting Arms & Armor of the Medieval Knight, which seem like very good reference points. I have also been review older posts here (lots of good stuff!).

What surprised me is the level variation on the effigies. For example splinted cuisses, which are more common earlier, fade out very slowly, with the last effigy having them being 1386. Conversely, more complex multipart knee copps, while very common towards the end of the century, can be found as early as 1327. I think this makes for a great century to base a kit on as it is hard to be wrong (within reason)!

Anyway, these are the plate components I was considering, I would appreciate any feed back Cool . I intend to wear these with a gambeson, hauberk, coat of plates and Klappvisier.

MT 14th-15th Century Arms with Integral Spaulders
MT Besegues
MT Splinted Cuisses
MT 5-Lame White Knee Copp
MT (Schynbalds) Plate Greaves (53% the weight and 34% the price of full)

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Last edited by T. Arndt on Sun 28 Aug, 2011 9:50 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Terry Thompson




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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 7:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For the last quarter of the 14th century, if you're looking at doing a knight's armor you're probably looking at a globose breast or corrazina. Coat of plates were probably still in use last quarter of the 14th, but most likely a knight would have had the means for a full breast-plate. I know that coat of plates appear on effigies into the 1360's but they are the minority even then for people of means.

A point about the arms is try to find someone that does the spaulders properly. I feel that a lot of armorers do the lames on the articulated arms make them too large. They often are too large or come down too far down the biceps...sometimes overlapping the rerbraces almost completely.

A last thought is about splinted cuisses. Once again by the fourth quarter of the century, you mostly see effigial evidence of solid plate cuisses by a much greater frequency. The splinted cuisses appear to have stopped being popular in the 1360's in England. Perhaps a bit later in Germany (~1400), as the Germans seemed to have been partial to the decorative riveting or light weight of splinted armor. If you do decide to go with splinted cuisses, there's evidence to suggest that some cuisses were probably more like coats of plates, with horizontal plates beneath a cloth covering suspension, not vertical plates like you see most people using today and a few effigies. The reasons are: 1) the staggered spacing of rivets are not indicative of linear vertical splints (possibly this was just artistic license). And 2) wearing vertical splints on your thighs does not allow for optimal freedom of movement in the legs. It's not definate, but it's something to consider.

My best suggestion to people is find a period effigy/brass/illumination that you really take a like to and try to be as faithful to it as you possibly can within the realm of what will work.
-Terry
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Wed 24 Aug, 2011 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Terry,

Thanks for the input. You have some good points about coats of plates, spaulders and cuisses.

Based on your comments, my armour preferences (for weight, cost and athletics) and reviewing some effigies I am going to target the 1360s specificity. Thank you for helping me narrow my focus.

I think if we consider the Battle of Visby took place in 1361, and effigy evidence, that the coat of plates was very common at this time. I am going to hazard the wild guess that if I was a Knight or Man-at-arms in the 1360s using splinted cuisses I am more likely to also be using a coat of plates (and vice versa), although that is a conjecture. One note about this decade is that besegues seem to be almost non-existent, so I am not going to worry about those anymore.

I did some quick reviewing of the effigies and I counted the number fell into these groups:
Group A: With only mail thigh protection
Group B: With splinted thigh protection
Group C: With plate thigh protection

I found between 1359-1370:
A: 1 (3.3%)
B: 14 (46.6%)
C: 15 (50.0%)

Of course there were some effigies which I could not tell anything about their cuisses by looking at-

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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 5:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My first advice is to determine some things to focus your kit. Those can be a time frame, location, a certain piece of armour, etc. You'll also need to determine how historically accurate you want to make your kit.

One thing I see a lot of people do is go through the effigy and manuscript evidence and grab things from all over. I'd recommend you chose a region (not a country). So instead of looking at effigies for all of Germany you may only be using ones from Bavaria. On the other hand if you want to be accurate-ish grab from a country and remember to restrict it to a ten year period. You see a lot of pan-European, pan-14th Century kits out there that ignore the regional uniqueness of armour in this period.

The reason it is often a good idea to try to replicate a specific effigy is that (unless the artist totally got it wrong) your armour was actually worn in period together. One problem with this is you can end up with dozens of clones of one specific effigy walking around at a large event.

Of course I have been researching my kit for over a decade but is still only in my head.

Cheers,

Tomás
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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 6:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mr. Ardnt, we haven't had time to get pics up on the site yet but we can do the 5 lame knees attached directly to the splinted cuisses for you if you'd like should you choose ultimately to use us for your kit. Just wanted to put that out there for you.
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I find the study of 14th century European armour development an incredibly fascinating, diverse and occasionally frustrating subject.
Originally I had a long winded post in mind, but instead I will pose a question.

Dr. Douglas Strong has done this community a huge favor with his research An Analysis of 1300 Effigies Dated Between 1300 and 1450. Has anyone taken it a step further by cataloging the same component and era data into a complete kit basis accessible via specific search criteria Question

Note: I see that Effigies and Brasses offers the ability to add tags which, in effect, would serve the same purpose. The tagging of this immense and valuable resource is understandably incomplete due to the size and complexity of the task at hand.

[edited to correctly identify Doctor Douglas Strong]

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere


Last edited by Scott Hrouda on Tue 30 Aug, 2011 6:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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T. Arndt




Location: La Crosse, WI
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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 2:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan Senefelder wrote:
Mr. Ardnt, we haven't had time to get pics up on the site yet but we can do the 5 lame knees attached directly to the splinted cuisses for you if you'd like should you choose ultimately to use us for your kit. Just wanted to put that out there for you.


Thanks Allan, that is good to know.

@Scott Hrouda

Good find, that tagging system is very useful! Cool

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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Aug, 2011 3:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tomas B wrote:
My first advice is to determine some things to focus your kit. Those can be a time frame, location, a certain piece of armour, etc. You'll also need to determine how historically accurate you want to make your kit.

Tomás


I think this hits the nail on the head. If historical plausibility is important, focusing on a specific region can't be underestimated. Even narrowing to the 1360's can be inadequate as different regions can be using different things. English effigies are very different from German effigies of the same decade. If you like the styling of klappvisors and splinted cuisses, then Bavaria sounds like your cup of tea. Plate cuisses, pig nose bascinets and fully integrated arm/shoulder harnesses may shift you more toward England as a region of interest. Earlier forms of defenses stuck around for much longer in Germany than in England. Italy seems to favor no spaulders at all, with maille draped over the upper cannons of their arm harness as the sole shoulder defense, offering less protection, but more mobility.

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Robert Brandt




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PostPosted: Fri 26 Aug, 2011 10:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott Hrouda wrote:
Mr. Douglas Strong has done this community a huge favor with his research An Analysis of 1300 Effigies Dated Between 1300 and 1450. [b]


I couldn't agree more that this organization of effigy evidence is extremely useful and quite compelling in a general sense. I sat riveted to my screen amazed at the invaluable comparison of regional data and the crystal clear charting of armor progression in general. I do have to add though that as I dug a little deeper, the information was somewhat weakened by the inability to evaluate the dating. It irks me to see that Effigies & Brasses, from which I presume Mr. Strong drew most or all of his data, states that some of its effigies are dated based on the armor type worn. Mr. Strong appears to then array these in his charts as evidence of the clear evolution of armor usage. I don't dispute the general progression, but I'd have rather seen all examples with speculative dating left out or reported separately.

I may be doing Mr. Strong and his analysis an injustice as it is possible that he vetted the dates of his examples to some meaningful degree, though he does not claim to have done so. It seems unlikely however since there are 1300 and I chose only two of the effigies which E & B lists as "dated" at random and spent over an hour trying to research and discern the context and reasoning for the dates in E & B. Ultimately, I was left to conclude, based on curator notes, that those dates were simply conjecture by museum staff based on very tenuous stylistic associations and on presumed dates of the the armor types.

For Example:



This image appears to me to have been dated 1340-1350 by museum staff through the "split the difference" method of precise dating. They feel the armour appears 1325-35ish but definately out of date by 1350. but the effigy was unearthed in an abbey they believe to have been built in 1371. Throw in a stylistic interpretation or two and wallah! A precise date in E & B of 1340. From that someone would try to hold out that elements of this kit would be out of place by two decades in 1360??

To me, dating an effigy based on armor type and then holding it up as evidence of armor evolution is a most blatant sort of bootstrapping.

History was certainly far more complex, varied, and intriguing than the blanket of generalities that we so often lay over our handful of surviving data points.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 6:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert,

This is one reason I feel effigies are a poor way to gauge armours dates. Most effigies simply use the date of death of the person the effigy is of. Doug's system was to add years after with the idea that it was generally done years after the persons death, which is not always the case but may or may not be the norm. As well I am fairly sure that effigies were made starting with templates or blanks of some nature so we see some rather old armour being on these gents likely due to convention.

Personally I like effigies for getting an idea of the look, style and design but avoid dates unless there is no other way.

Doug's work is awesome and very useful but like any work cannot be used for everything.

We have been talking about doing the same thing with Manuscripts as they typically have firmer dates due to their text. Problem I am having is that living in the US again I cannot go and look at the originals and the number of websites and books with the complete MS illustrations is very limited. This would help immensly but at this time I cannot find a way to execute this project. For example the majority of knights in the Taymouth Hours (Thompson-Yates 13) are in full plate armour with fairly complex bascinets and the dates are 1326 or so.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Robert Brandt wrote:


I may be doing Mr. Strong and his analysis an injustice as it is possible that he vetted the dates of his examples to some meaningful degree, though he does not claim to have done so. It seems unlikely however since there are 1300 and I chose only two of the effigies which E & B lists as "dated" at random and spent over an hour trying to research and discern the context and reasoning for the dates in E & B. Ultimately, I was left to conclude, based on curator notes, that those dates were simply conjecture by museum staff based on very tenuous stylistic associations and on presumed dates of the the armor types.


Actually its Dr. Strong. Doug has been very clear on the methodology he used and the "approximate" nature of the dates. Read the whole resource before drawing your conclusion. Dating effigies is a series of educated guesses, sometimes confused, sometimes clarified by additional data such as you mention below.

Robert Brandt wrote:

For Example:



This image appears to me to have been dated 1340-1350 by museum staff through the "split the difference" method of precise dating. They feel the armour appears 1325-35ish but definately out of date by 1350. but the effigy was unearthed in an abbey they believe to have been built in 1371. Throw in a stylistic interpretation or two and wallah! A precise date in E & B of 1340. From that someone would try to hold out that elements of this kit would be out of place by two decades in 1360??

To me, dating an effigy based on armor type and then holding it up as evidence of armor evolution is a most blatant sort of bootstrapping.


In this particular case the most definitive aspect of the harness is the length and volume of the surcoat. Second quarter of the 14thC is quite appropriate based on many other effigies and art of the period. The fact that it was unearthed in an abbey built later is irrelevant. If the family of the deceased was a major donor to that construction, it is plausible that they had family sepulchers moved after the dedication. Perhaps the previous site was damaged in someway, requiring relocation? Did you consider that before dismissing the numerous clues inherent in the artifact?

Oh BTW - the word is voilà. Check it out. http://french.about.com/od/vocabulary/a/voila.htm
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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Actually its Dr. Strong.


That mistake was solely mine. Blush No offense was intended to Dr. Strong.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yes, what region are you going for? Most of the pieces you linked don't really go together.
Besgews go out of use (in England) around 1350.
Klapvisors are German, but arms with integral spaulders are English. 5-piece knees are from the 15th century.
Splinted cuisses and articulated knees also don't really go together.

If you're going for 1360 now, I would go with
Bascinet
Coat of plates
mail shirt
surcoat
plate arms with integral spaulders
Cuff gauntlets
Splitned cuisses
floating knees
Half or cased greaves
sabatons

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Robert Brandt




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 2:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Actually its Dr. Strong. Doug has been very clear on the methodology he used and the "approximate" nature of the dates. Read the whole resource before drawing your conclusion. Dating effigies is a series of educated guesses, sometimes confused, sometimes clarified by additional data such as you mention below.

My appologies to Dr. Strong and I meant no disrespect to his education or the great value of his contribution. I believe I did read the whole resource (though due to the nature of hyperlinking I may have missed something), and I do disagree with your characterization of his "clear" methodology and the approximate nature of the dates.

Kel Rekuta wrote:
In this particular case the most definitive aspect of the harness is the length and volume of the surcoat.

Really?

Kel Rekuta wrote:
The fact that it was unearthed in an abbey built later is irrelevant. If the family of the deceased was a major donor to that construction, it is plausible that they had family sepulchers moved after the dedication. Perhaps the previous site was damaged in someway, requiring relocation? Did you consider that before dismissing the numerous clues inherent in the artifact?

I wouldn't call it irrelevant, but I also did not say I found it dubious that it could have been relocated. I make no claim whatsoever on the provenience (or provenance if you prefer) of the discovery in the nearly total absence of information about it. You attribute dismissal of information to me unfairly. My only assertion is that I was not able to identify sufficient information to support a precise date. Since your opening paragraph asserts my exact point, I'd say we agree and the rest is semantics.

History was certainly far more complex, varied, and intriguing than the blanket of generalities that we so often lay over our handful of surviving data points.
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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Sat 27 Aug, 2011 7:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
5-piece knees are from the 15th century.


Exclusively? The MT site states "Suitable for late 14th and 15th century use."

Further more some 1360s+ effigies appear with knees very similar:
http://www.themcs.org/churches/Swine%20in%20H...irgin.html

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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2011 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Arndt wrote:
Jojo Zerach wrote:
5-piece knees are from the 15th century.


Exclusively? The MT site states "Suitable for late 14th and 15th century use."

Further more some 1360s+ effigies appear with knees very similar:
http://www.themcs.org/churches/Swine%20in%20H...irgin.html



All the effigies in that link seem to use either floating knees, or 2 lame knees with a demigreave.
(Second one from the bottom looks to have brass trim.)

However, I did find a number of 14th century French effigies showing 5-lame kneees. (with a demi greave.)

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/louis...073/large/

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/charl...075/large/

This style seems to have been confined to France during the 14th century.
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William P




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PostPosted: Sun 28 Aug, 2011 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

i find it interesting that the 14th C western europe also makes extensive use of splint limb armour, i thought that this sort of armour was relegated to byzantine and more east dwelling armies, like the rus, arabs and saracens.

seems i was mistaken
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F. Carl Holz




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

in light of the discussion on the use of effigies and brasses, this might be of interest:

An Analysis of 600 English Effigies Dated Between 1300 and 1450
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...figies.htm

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T. Arndt




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2011 5:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

F. Carl Holz wrote:
in light of the discussion on the use of effigies and brasses, this might be of interest:
An Analysis of 600 English Effigies Dated Between 1300 and 1450
http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...figies.htm


Hey Carl. That is a interesting data I have been looking at as well.
To expand on that further, Dr. Strong has gone further than just English effigies:

1300 Effigies From All Countries
600 English Effigies
300 German Effigies
300 French Effigies

The best place to start reviewing the above data is http://talbotsfineaccessories.com/armour/effi...lysis.html.

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Ian S LaSpina




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Aug, 2011 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One trap people fall in to when planning a kit is picking the armor they like first, then trying to make history support the conclusion they want to arrive at. I made that mistake when I started out, and it's a long and expensive road to remedy when historical accuracy becomes a priority.
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