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Josh Wilson




Location: WV
Joined: 01 Nov 2010
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PostPosted: Sat 12 Oct, 2013 3:33 pm    Post subject: Bosses on Kite Shields         Reply with quote

When do bosses on kite shields disappear? Am I correct in seeing that they appear to be smaller and more decorative than on the round Viking or Saxon shield?
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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,268

PostPosted: Sat 12 Oct, 2013 6:42 pm    Post subject: Re: Bosses on Kite Shields         Reply with quote

Josh Wilson wrote:
When do bosses on kite shields disappear? Am I correct in seeing that they appear to be smaller and more decorative than on the round Viking or Saxon shield?


I think you're correct in that they generally appear small, Even in the late 12th century bosses on kites are rare. I've seen a few illustrations showing them in use until about 1225, but the kite has lost its round top by then.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Tue 15 Oct, 2013 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the 11th c, bosses on kite shields are fairly common, but by no mens universal. Perhaps as a transitional phenomenon.
Shields with bosses do show up ocoationally in the following centuries. Some are small and probably decorative, like you mention, and disappear sometime in the 12th c.
Others appear to be functional. Even heater shields with bosses are shown once in a while, often in combination with iron fittings on the front. This might be down to personal taste. I have not found much use for it, though.

"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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