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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 19 Mar, 2013 9:54 pm    Post subject: European plate armour without points         Reply with quote

Not long ago I was involved in a casual discussion about wearing plate armour with modern clothes. I argued that later models of Japanese armour (16th century and later) would be most suitable for this since the pieces are largely affixed to each other rather than to an arming garment underneath. In this manner the armour could be worn with a larger variety of undergarments, including modern clothes (perhaps with jackets to add a little bit of padding for comfort), although there's a tradeoff in that the weight distribution wouldn't be as efficient as a late-medieval European armour with points to a close-fitting undergarment and as a result the weight of the armour that could be comfortably worn would also have been lower than in a historically accurate European plate armour setup.

However, some time afterwards I remembered that some munitions-grade harnesses from the early 16th century appear to have been made without points; instead, the arms are hung from a gorget/collar that also lies under and bears the strain from the cuirass's shoulder-straps (although if the cuirass was properly shaped, much of its weight would still lie upon the hips anyway). Now that makes me wonder about the construction of fuller suits of plate armour from the 16th and 17th centuries. I suspect full harnesses from these periods would still have required extensive pointing around the arms and legs, especially as the weight of the armour itself increased in response to firearms, but what about three-quarter half-armours? From the outside it would seem that these varieties could have done just fine without pointing to an undergarment, but of course any points would have been on the inside and invisible to an observer with a strictly external perspective.

So, any ideas on this? I'm also interested in hearing thoughts about wearing armour with modern clothes, although perhaps I should start a new thread for that one.
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Jojo Zerach





Joined: 26 Dec 2009

Posts: 288

PostPosted: Wed 20 Mar, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Re: European plate armour without points         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Not long ago I was involved in a casual discussion about wearing plate armour with modern clothes. I argued that later models of Japanese armour (16th century and later) would be most suitable for this since the pieces are largely affixed to each other rather than to an arming garment underneath. In this manner the armour could be worn with a larger variety of undergarments, including modern clothes (perhaps with jackets to add a little bit of padding for comfort), although there's a tradeoff in that the weight distribution wouldn't be as efficient as a late-medieval European armour with points to a close-fitting undergarment and as a result the weight of the armour that could be comfortably worn would also have been lower than in a historically accurate European plate armour setup.

However, some time afterwards I remembered that some munitions-grade harnesses from the early 16th century appear to have been made without points; instead, the arms are hung from a gorget/collar that also lies under and bears the strain from the cuirass's shoulder-straps (although if the cuirass was properly shaped, much of its weight would still lie upon the hips anyway). Now that makes me wonder about the construction of fuller suits of plate armour from the 16th and 17th centuries. I suspect full harnesses from these periods would still have required extensive pointing around the arms and legs, especially as the weight of the armour itself increased in response to firearms, but what about three-quarter half-armours? From the outside it would seem that these varieties could have done just fine without pointing to an undergarment, but of course any points would have been on the inside and invisible to an observer with a strictly external perspective.

So, any ideas on this? I'm also interested in hearing thoughts about wearing armour with modern clothes, although perhaps I should start a new thread for that one.

Pretty much all medieval armor would have used points, but after that, examples without points become more common. I believe a lot of armor from the late 16thC and 17thC used either no points, or else they were limited to redundant points on the arms (which were also suspended from the pauldrons, which in turn were buckled to the gorget.)
The knee length tassets also attached to the cuirass without points.
In fact, the trend over the course of the 16th and 17th centuries seems to have been to replace the more "traditional" fasteners with an assortment of more convenient metal fasteners.
John Smith advocated suspending arms from the pauldrons instead of using points, which he found uncomfortable.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 02 Apr, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are there any pictures and illustrations of the internal details in these later armours, then? While I'm quite familiar with what they look like from the outside, I'm not quite sure about how the major components attach to each other in the absence of points connecting them to the arming garments.
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