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F. Carl Holz




Location: someplace out on the water (and probably not able to access my PM)
Joined: 05 Aug 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 5:20 pm    Post subject: help me pick apart this armor...         Reply with quote

I am trying to work out the details of the armor presented in the pictures of the statue below. The statue is identified as St. George fighting the dragon, from Maasland, c.1390-1400 held at the Germanisches National museum in Nürnberg.

If anyone can provide any better quality pictures than those below I will be very grateful.

The following are the points that I feel reasonably confident on:
The breast plate is a kastenbrust. The helmet is a great bascinet with a high hinged front plate covering the throat. The arms are covered in a full sleeve of maile, but nothing else except for the loose sleeves of a shirt. A pair of mitten gauntlets protects the hands. A skirt of scales rests atop some sort of support garment, or possibly just the bottom of the shirt obscuring the upper legs. The poleyns appear to be articulated, and mail is visible at the back of the knee. The lower legs are covered by cased greaves.

The problem I have is when I look closely at the breast plate. The color shift on the figures side suggests that the breast plate only covers the front and part of the sides of the torso. But what about the rings that encircle the arms? They look like a sort of trim work, like brass work on gauntlets except that they extend all the way around the arms. The buckles in the center of the back also leave me with questions.

The idea that these questions have left me with is that the breastplate is attached to pieces of leather or cloth which cover plates that protect the figures back and are buckled there to secure the whole arrangement. The puzzling rings are merely the edges of the leather or cloth folded back onto itself or over the breastplate as appropriate.

Does this seem reasonable? Further is there evidence to support this idea?
Any comments welcomed. Happy



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31. And there are some whom everyone should consider to be wise...
-Le Livre de Chevalerie, Geffroi Charny-
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Josh Davis
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Location: Minneapolis, MN
Joined: 16 Oct 2011

Posts: 43

PostPosted: Sat 13 Jul, 2013 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
I think so far most of your assumptions are correct...that being said here are a few images of contemporary paintings of a similar style of armor. In these paintings if you look closely at the shoulders of the armored figures you see small red laces coming through the breastplate fixing it to the undergarment. I would suspect that something similar is happening in this sculpture. You wont be able to see these ties as they are hidden under the mail standard. The undergarments used in this period and for the kastenbrust style would have been a waffenrocke. Here are a few links to what they look like and you can also see in the Jan van Eyck painting what they look like in color and with armor over them. As for the scaled fauld I am not quite sold on this idea...there are many illustrations where you see a fauld, no fauld, mail skirt, or even bells but this is the first I have seen with what appears to be scales. Now whether this is an artistic element or an actual example of a type of fauld I cannot say but it would seem highly unlikely from the pictorial evidence that I have witnessed. And finally with the backplate or lack there of...this is also very interesting and eluding...I have found some examples (sorry I can't provide them now but will do when I find them) of a similar attachment design but I have yet to figure out how it is done...it could be leather attached to the breastplate then fastened behind or it could just be the undergarment...not sure. I think this is an excellent example of the short lived kastenbrust style and thank you for sharing!

Here are the links for the waffenrocke:

http://www.kostym.cz/Anglicky/1_Originaly/01_Goticke/I_01_69.htm

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=21451

And the images

For the foot men painting:
Hans Multscher, 1400-1467
Title: Altarpiece: Wurzach: Ext.: Lt. Wing-Christ Before Pilate
Date: 1437

For the mounted painting:
Hubert van Eyck, completed by Jan van Eyck
Title: Adoration of the Mystic Lamb (Ghent Altarpiece)
Date: c. 1423-1432

I hope this helps and thanks for sharing!!

Josh

www.davisreproductions.com



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Isak Krogh




Location: Sweden
Joined: 07 Feb 2012

Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun 14 Jul, 2013 3:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

there is a lot of depictions of scale faulds

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4369/9228/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4164/7645/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4222/8939/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4223/8967/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4324/9535/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4344/9576/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4696/13029/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/3991/10003/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4836/13565/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4346/9833/
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4480/11978/

http://effigiesandbrasses.com/849/3000/
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3242/2673/

Very interesting statue! Thank you!
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F. Carl Holz




Location: someplace out on the water (and probably not able to access my PM)
Joined: 05 Aug 2006
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Mon 15 Jul, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To be honest I'm pretty sold on the idea of a back plate. What nags at me is the detail around the arm holes. It could be its simply a design on the edge of both the breast and the back plates, not connecting the plates but present on both. This is perhaps more likely than what I initially suggested.

I just wish I had better pictures as they would probably go a long way towards clearing things up.

31. And there are some whom everyone should consider to be wise...
-Le Livre de Chevalerie, Geffroi Charny-
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Robert MacPherson
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Location: Jeffersonville USA
Joined: 27 Feb 2008

Posts: 141

PostPosted: Tue 16 Jul, 2013 10:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Carl,

The back defense consists of a pair of plates that hinge to the breast under the arms and buckle closed in the center of the back. As far as one can tell, his is a common form for the early 15th C.

Mac

Robert MacPherson
http://www.lightlink.com/armory/
http://billyandcharlie.com/
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