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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 3:53 pm    Post subject: Splinted or padded armour?         Reply with quote

Sometimes in the early 14th century, you will see a gap in the armour on the forearm that looks to be covered either by splinted or padded armour. Of course it's possible both were used, but which would seem more likely? Often it seems to more closely resemble textile armour, despite being overlapped by meal armour. Would textile armour have been effective enough to use as a standalone defense?
These are some examples of what I was talking about:
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/unkno...506/large/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_...617/large/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/jean_...142/large/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_...150/large/
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Scott Woodruff





Joined: 30 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dang, that's a tough one. AFAIK, either is plausible considering the time frame. My gut tells me that we are seeing the sleeves of the textile defense. A lot of peolple put a lot of emphasis on hard forearm armour, possibly due to personal experience of getting hit here in paired drills. My own experience has been that the forearms are one of the lowest priorities when it comes to armour, and that if you get hit here often then you're doing something wrong. I am interested in hearing what some of the more experienced forumites have to say.
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Michael Parker




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec, 2012 6:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is hard to make a call when we're looking at 2d pen-and-ink illustrations of effigies in the round. Sometimes the artist is misleading, or can't capture the texture and volume of those sleeves, and of course we haven't got very close magnification. The last illustration seems to be a flat brass etching, so not much to miss there.

My amateur guess is that it's probably the sleeves of the aketon in three out of four of these examples because we can't see any rivets on the forearms in these pictures, which is usually the giveaway that there's splint armor. The third example looks especially like regular aketon sleeves to me. The second example John Leverick looks the most ambiguous to me because of how little the sleeves, which are drawn as lines with very little space between them, resemble either the big riveted splints of the gauntlets and coat of plates or the narrower but still fairly thick tubes of what looks like the aketon peeking from below the thin jupon/cote armour. It's even harder to see because one of the elbows broke off and the left elbow is covered by the shield.

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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Dec, 2012 5:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good question. The most natural answer would be cloth, but all of these knights have other plate elements in their armour, and all except number 2 appears to be wearing haubergons.
This, in itself, is a departure from the earlier (and still common) fashion of wearing full length hauberks with integrated mail mittens. Most of the altso wear plate gauntlets.
It would not be inplausible for them to wear a splint armguards to cover the gap between the haubergon and gauntlets, but it is hard to say.

It would in this case be a early attempt at integrating the (then new) plate gauntlets with mail. This is a period of mix and match, where a variety of plate pieces are used to complement but not replace mail.
This is quite clear from looking at the effegies; Gauntlents, underarm, elbow and shoulder guards all exist, but very seldom worn all at once. Untill you get full plated arms and legs at the end of the century.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Thu 20 Dec, 2012 11:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yeah, padded armour looks more likely. I actually noticed a manuscript illustration showing padded forearms that look very much like this. The figures weren't fully armoured, but the textile armour looked remarkably similar.
Elling, full arms and legs are actually in common in England by the middle of the century. The second one, Leverick, even has his padded armour emerging from beneath plate arms. (You can see the rolled edges and buckles on the upper and lower cannons.)
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
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PostPosted: Thu 20 Dec, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I see these a lot in German effigies from the early to mid 14th, and I've always assumed that they were splinted.

Here's a guy wearing something that is held in place by buckles. possibly actual plate, but possibly splint. Unlikely to be textile, at least: http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/albre.../original/

Ottawa Swordplay
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