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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 486

PostPosted: Tue 24 Jul, 2012 6:49 am    Post subject: Question about ventails and mail mittens         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Does anyone know when mail mittens went out of fashion in favor of mail/plate gauntlets? Same for ventails, when did they fall out of use? I can't remember seeing any past the early 14th century but I couldn't say when the 'cut off' point was.

Was there any difference in the period of use between mittens/coifs which were integrated with he hauberk versus those which were not?

Thanks,

Ian

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not sure about the cutoff time - but I can suggest some reasoning.

Ventails were simply a way of closing the coif around the neck/chin. They are only really needed on coifs which need to open at the neck. Coifs only really needed to open at the front of the neck when they were integrated to the hauberk - providing the only way to 'remove' the coif withour taking the whole hauberk off.

If the coif is not integrated, you simply pull it over the head - so there is no need for it to open at the front of the neck and can be shaped to cover the neck/chin.

So I expect that ventails largely disappeared soon after seperate coifs appeared at the tail end of c13. The only exception I can see is where the ventail covers the mouth rather than the neck and it opens for talking/eating/drinking. - one of those personal preference things I guess.

For mittens, I'm not sure if there ever were any seperate mail mittens.. Mail hand protection appeared as an extension of the hauberk, and I suspect only disappeared when they were replaced by early plate gauntlets.

Integral mail mittens became common around the mid to late 12c and remained in use until the 2nd quarter of the 14c (although I'm not the best person here to comment on 14c dates)
Integral coifs were in use at Hastings, and although the shape/style of ventail changed - they were used up to the late 13c (Although some seperate coifs were seen as early as the mid 13c in germany)
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
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Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Ian,

just some contemporary sources for you:

Separate coifs were worn as early as 1250 in german lands (Mainzer Evangeliar).
Separate maille mittens are at least depicted in the Codex Manesse (Heidelberger Liederhandschrift), created between 1300 to 1340 in Zurich..

Have fun,
Thomas



 Attachment: 15.42 KB
Detail of coif.jpg
Mainzer Evangeliar, 1250

 Attachment: 139.01 KB
Codex Manesse, 1300-1340 [ Download ]

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 5:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's very interesting on the Mittens.. They have fingers too. The mail coifs also look very strange in that image.
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Thomas R.




Location: Germany
Joined: 10 May 2010
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Reading list: 17 books

Posts: 395

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Brian,

these coifs are after a german fashion made with a rectangular lower seam. Such coifs can also be seen on the statue of St. Maurice (dated 1250-1300) or in the manuscript dt. Ms. Add. 17687, now in the British Library (1280).

Regards,
Thomas

http://maerenundlobebaeren.tumblr.com/
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Brian Robson





Joined: 19 Feb 2007

Posts: 185

PostPosted: Wed 25 Jul, 2012 5:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas R. wrote:
Hi Brian,

these coifs are after a german fashion made with a rectangular lower seam. Such coifs can also be seen on the statue of St. Maurice (dated 1250-1300) or in the manuscript dt. Ms. Add. 17687, now in the British Library (1280).

Regards,
Thomas


Sorry, I meant in the same image as the seperate gloves. They kind of look like they are draped over the head and hanging down loose at the sides, but with another piece tight to the throat..
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