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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 6:54 pm    Post subject: Rondels for shoulders and elbows, historical accuracy?         Reply with quote

So I'm looking for an easy project and I'm also looking for arms and shoulder protection for an early transitional kit (14th century) for a not so wealthy soldier. I've seen some offerings, such as at woods armoury, where rondels are employed. Wood's makes the point that their use as such is somewhat disputed (or something to that effect). I've begun dishing two rondels for this effort as I've continued reading and I'm a little disappointed, as I had hoped to be reasonably authentic using these as floating plates pointed to my maile beneath. Honestly, I don't think that it would be terribly difficult to make a more proper epaulette and elbow but I liked the simplicity of this and the less sophisticated look and the fact that it's just super easy as a starter project.

I tried using the search on the site to see what has been written before but I can't seem to filter off the bagillion hits where rondel refers to daggers even with "not dagger*" added to my search. So please excuse me if this has been discussed before.

Anyway, is the evidence scant that rondels may have been used on shoulders and elbows or is it non-existent?

Thanks,

Steve
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Reece Nelson




Location: Overland Park KS
Joined: 18 Oct 2007
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Posts: 257

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 8:53 pm    Post subject: rondels disks armour         Reply with quote

Hello,

You see several rondels in the historical art of the 1300's, at the start of the 14th century. In the beginning you see just the shoulders, but then you start to see bits of elbow protection.



http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4219/8089/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4219/8093/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4219/8116/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4447/13989/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4796/11870/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4258/9104/

you see some come about in the mid 14th century.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4181/10649/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4904/14534/

But the later 14th century and into the early 15th century, you see them more commonly

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4163/7835/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4163/7840/

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4163/7841/

Hope this helps!
-Reece
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W. Scott Brown





Joined: 20 Jun 2013

Posts: 39

PostPosted: Wed 31 Jul, 2013 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try searching for "besagews" instead of rondels. I believe that's the historically correct term for them.

Scott
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,290

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 3:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Besagews only refer to roundel plates used to protect the armpit. Most of the early couters on the elbows are simple, round plates.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/search/?tags="couters"

I suspect the Woods Armoury qualifier may be for the "finger buckler" use.
http://www.woodsarmoury.com/armour-rondels.asp
Quote:
Rondels can be used as “Finger-Bucklers” for added protection to hands, they can be used on shoulder and elbow joints pointed over maille or to a gambeson, and they can also be used as besegews in later 14th century harness to protect armpits. Note: Rondels many not have been used in some of the applications suggested above as period evidence is rare and in question.


The through-lacing doesn't feel right to me either, but there is limited evidence to prove or disprove that method for fastening.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
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Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 9:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"The through-lacing doesn't feel right to me either,"

Would you be more comfortable if it were riveted to leather underneath and that would facilitate the tie?


BTW thanks for your input.

Steve
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Many of these manuscripts appear to make the elbows and shoulders two dimensional vs. dished. Understanding that perspective wasn't all that developed at this time how might one interpret that? I'm dishing my couters/cops/rondels. I do WMA so form follows function but I'd like to know where I stand.

I think for knees I'll go more traditional polelyn and not a simple rondel. I'll make that my third pair of joint protection to sort out.

Thanks,

Steve
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
Joined: 05 Jul 2013

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think I found my own answer to the dishing question.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4181/10649/

That looks to be fairly clearly dished shoulders and elbows and it's well into the 14th century, which I like to see.

Steve
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,290

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Burger wrote:
"The through-lacing doesn't feel right to me either,"

Would you be more comfortable if it were riveted to leather underneath and that would facilitate the tie?


BTW thanks for your input.

Steve


Having some sort of loop on the back, vervelle-like posts, or nails through the mail are one option. Attaching the roundels to a leather foundation would be another.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4395/8753/



 Attachment: 79.06 KB
Nedstryn Altar Frontal-roundels.jpg


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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 3:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why are we assuming tying them down is a no go? I find this to be a far better than the leather tab system. That said later besegews seem to have that system sometimes. Tying them onto mail or a textile underneath in my experience keeps them far more tightly affixed to where you want them to be. That said if they are larger they could likely need more than a tie but a strap or something as well. If you use the leather tab it will flop all over your shoulder or you will for sure need a second one and/or strap.

I have a pretty large round/besegew type spaulders I tie onto my mail. I think it is a neat bit of armour development and gives good movement but perhaps not as protective as the more full spaulders from later in the 14th century. I think the true besegews over the arm pits are likely more shallow than the shoulder ones. Ones attached to couters likely shallow as well. I still am not sure if they were tied onto the couter or riveted. I tend to think riveted from my experience. Never been able to get plate to plate to tie well enough for any real use.

Stephen,

Yes, one of my favorite MS. Love it and I agree. The only question I have is if the arms are supposed to be plate as later in the MS mail is very clearly depicted. Love the really complex bascinets with visors and neck lames. Once I have my shop rolling I am going to make it. I researched this MS in the past and many of the academics posted this between 1325-1335. The BL used to I think as well but in their recent update pushed it to 1325-1350 for some reason.

RPM
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,290

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To be clear, I'm not opposed to lacing them, just lacing through them. I don't think any of the effigies which show roundels at the elbow and shoulder show knots on top of the plates, even if they're detailed enough to show mail ties at the wrist and scabbard thongs. Some of the roundels have small central bosses, and a bar welded across that on the back would make a fine lacing point which would remain invisible on the surface.
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I tend to simply lace the lacing going down into the plate then mail and/or aketon.

Perhaps the bar would be present with the boss type roundels but most lack anything like that. I suspect that if you have the holes with the lacing going in you'd hardly see them regardless but I'd not put that much faith in art. Way too many other things missing usually, like straps and such.

RPM
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 7:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So as I'm practicing my new craft of metalworking (I've not done a whole lot before, at least never with anything that needs to be "pretty" when I'm done) and my rondels looks a bit rough. My first one is a throw away but I'm gradually getting better. Despite spending a fair amount of time planishing I've got a good many hammer marks and little irregularities even on the better one and although I'm prepared to toss the first one, I don't think I want to do that a whole lot as I'm perfecting my technique.

Is there any evidence that a common foot soldier or even a landless knight might have some pieces that don't look quite as skillfully done as the pieces we so often celebrate? Perhaps in the form of battle scarred pieces picked up on the battlefield and rough hammered by the soldier himself? I'm not suggesting I won't continue to strive to make nicer looking pieces and I might eventually let my kids play with these when I have something nicer to replace them with but in the short term I don't see my work improving by leaps and bounds over night and at the very least what I'm making will be serviceable.

Thoughts?

Steve
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
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Posts: 29

PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 7:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

LOL I just noticed something on the Woods site. Modern shoe laces.



Randall,

Looking at the manuscript image I almost get the feeling as it's depicted that he's not wearing anything but fabric on those arms. That's what his legs appear to be from the stitching and the arms, minus stitching look to be similar. I've not tried to dissect too many of these images so I'm not very invested in that interpretation.

As for to tie or not to tie (through), I'll have to weigh my options. I'm sure I'll want to tie through the maile but I may get a little jiggy with it and avoid the holes and ties. As for Wood's example, were grommets in used? That seems fairly modern. Perhaps our forefathers invented the thing already, but my anachronism detector is going off. Is my detector faulty?

Steve
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know Stephen. I found some images of plate laced instead of strapped so I went back to point A on that one but it could for sure be fabric.

As for grommets.
Yep you can make them. A brass tube and hammer over the edges. Truth is a good filing on the holes and you should not need them.

As for quality. You bet. There are some bit of armour that are basically crude, some are art. Cost I am sure plays a key part.

RPM
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Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

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PostPosted: Thu 01 Aug, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen Burger wrote:
So as I'm practicing my new craft of metalworking (I've not done a whole lot before, at least never with anything that needs to be "pretty" when I'm done) and my rondels looks a bit rough. My first one is a throw away but I'm gradually getting better. Despite spending a fair amount of time planishing I've got a good many hammer marks and little irregularities even on the better one and although I'm prepared to toss the first one, I don't think I want to do that a whole lot as I'm perfecting my technique.

Is there any evidence that a common foot soldier or even a landless knight might have some pieces that don't look quite as skillfully done as the pieces we so often celebrate? Perhaps in the form of battle scarred pieces picked up on the battlefield and rough hammered by the soldier himself? I'm not suggesting I won't continue to strive to make nicer looking pieces and I might eventually let my kids play with these when I have something nicer to replace them with but in the short term I don't see my work improving by leaps and bounds over night and at the very least what I'm making will be serviceable.

Thoughts?

Steve

Considering how valuable expensive armor was, I won't be surprised if there was widespread looting and moditifications of armour to fit the new owner who acquired it on the field. Obviously if the looter later got the time and money to make it fit him and nice he would but I find it hard that people would let any armour, trickets, etc, waste away with the enemies they just defeated, it's just to much money there.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Aug, 2013 7:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I stand corrected.

Going through Thordeman, Armour from the Battle of Wisby 1361, I find Fig 104:
Quote:
Of a different character is a circular, faintly domed plate,
(Qy 23, fig. 104:1), with a diameter of 11 cm. and provided
near its centre with two round holes. Such plates are often
seen on 14th century effigies and also earlier, as a protection
for the shoulder and elbow, and it is seen from the effigies
that a thong or strap for fastening the plate had been drawn
through the holes (figs. 105, 106).

Figure 105 is the effigy of Herrici Caprice, obit 1360 in the Naples Cathedral.
Figure 106 is the effigy of a member of the De Lucy family, Lennes Abbey, Kent now (1939) in the V&A.

Here's another Italian effigy showing laces through the plate.
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/3809/3365/

And a photobucket example. Cuir boulli rerebrace with laced roundels at elbow and shoulder over mail.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v288/benzop...3_0133.jpg

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Fri 09 Aug, 2013 8:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's great. There's no denying those ties are there. Thanks, that make me feel very good about my choice. Thanks!
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

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PostPosted: Fri 09 Aug, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't use a bow for a knot, and avoid shoelaces with plastic aglets.

To note, the other two plates in Thordeman (104:2, 104:3) of oval shape have rivets on the back with remnants of leather, so the method of strapping seen in the manuscript miniatures was also in use.

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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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Posts: 1,290

PostPosted: Sat 31 Aug, 2013 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's an interesting miniature in BNF Fr.24364, fo.41r, an English MS from 1308-1312: The man arming himself on the left side has the couters already attached to the hauberk.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/5195/16686/



For comparison, the same scene in the mid-13th century Cambridge O.9.34, before couters were in use.
http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4974/15427/

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Stephen Burger




Location: United States
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PostPosted: Tue 03 Sep, 2013 10:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great pics. I sense that some will question my use of these at some time and having evidence such as this is hard to dispute.
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