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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb, 2014 2:22 am    Post subject: Value original chain mail         Reply with quote

Hi There,

I have this original mail shirt which I like to sell but not sure what to ask for it Confused . It's guaranteed original but probably made out of two or more pieces. It saw some heavy use during it's active life.

Does someone know what would be a reasonable price to ask?

Thanks!



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Foong Chen Hong




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 18 May 2013
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PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb, 2014 2:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Given info of which century it came from would be about to judge its value more.
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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb, 2014 2:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Foong Chen Hong wrote:
Given info of which century it came from would be about to judge its value more.


According to the conservator of the Dutch Weapon museum it could be 15 century. Problem is that one part is made from very heavy thick rings and the other part is much thinner. The rings are all hand forged and riveted.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb, 2014 4:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mail shirts don't hang that way. The weave needs to be rotated 90 degrees. Can we get a close up of the seam up the front and the back? My guess is that you have two unrelated pieces of mail that were joined together by someone in the museum. They have taken some rings with missing rivets and wrapped them around the edge links to hold them together. It would be better if you pulled them back apart and spread them separately on a flat surface. I'd be surprised if either piece was 15th century European.
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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Sun 23 Feb, 2014 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Mail shirts don't hang that way. The weave needs to be rotated 90 degrees. Can we get a close up of the seam up the front and the back? My guess is that you have two unrelated pieces of mail that were joined together by someone in the museum. They have taken some rings with missing rivets and wrapped them around the edge links to hold them together. It would be better if you pulled them back apart and spread them separately on a flat surface. I'd be surprised if either piece was 15th century European.


I didn't bought it in a museum. The conservator only had a look at it.
Your probably right Dan, that it is composed of two different pieces of mail.
I'm a novice when it comes to armor, what would be the difference between original European mail and mail made in other parts of the world?
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are loads of mail threads on here that give some answers to these but mail is a pretty wide ranging subject and is notoriously difficult to identify properly.

But what Dan says is completely right, its made up of two different types of mail and done by someone who wasn't that aware of how mail works. I'd be interested to see it laid flat. It wouldn't affect the value of what you have really, properly presented they would be of interest to some collectors, possibly a few hundred $$'s each bit.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 4:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd pay a few hundred $$ for the patch of heavy links.
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Robert MacPherson
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Location: Jeffersonville USA
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I concur with Dan. The heavy piece is the interesting one.

Mac

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Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 6:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M Hermes wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Mail shirts don't hang that way. The weave needs to be rotated 90 degrees. Can we get a close up of the seam up the front and the back? My guess is that you have two unrelated pieces of mail that were joined together by someone in the museum. They have taken some rings with missing rivets and wrapped them around the edge links to hold them together. It would be better if you pulled them back apart and spread them separately on a flat surface. I'd be surprised if either piece was 15th century European.


I didn't bought it in a museum. The conservator only had a look at it.
Your probably right Dan, that it is composed of two different pieces of mail.
I'm a novice when it comes to armor, what would be the difference between original European mail and mail made in other parts of the world?


Regardless of who joined the pieces together, I agree with Dan that it may be worth taking them back apart. The joining rings which have been sprung or have missing rivets may be of use for study. Images from both sides will allow examination of the rivet type used, and images of empty rivet holes are sometimes of use. You could then see if the lighter mail was originally joined to the heavier mail. Additionally, any tailoring -- one ring going through three or five rather than four -- might give clues as to how the mail was originally used.

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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 10:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Mail shirts don't hang that way. The weave needs to be rotated 90 degrees. Can we get a close up of the seam up the front and the back? My guess is that you have two unrelated pieces of mail that were joined together by someone in the museum. They have taken some rings with missing rivets and wrapped them around the edge links to hold them together. It would be better if you pulled them back apart and spread them separately on a flat surface. I'd be surprised if either piece was 15th century European.


Ok, I took it apart and it appears that I have 3 or 4 different types op chain mail. I will try to be as specific as possible.

First one consists of a pattern of 4 flat rings, 11mm in diameter, which are linked with 1 round ring (not flattened) also 11mm in diameter.

Second one, flat rings about 11mm in diameter, 4 in 1, but all the same. This piece starts with 1,5 mm thick rings but the rings seems to get smaller after about 20cm.

Third one is completely different. The rings are large, 14mm in diameter, whole flat and only 1mm thick. This piece is very light.

last one, thick rings, 11mm in diameter, 4 in 1. Heavy piece.



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Mart Shearer




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

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 12:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M Hermes wrote:
Ok, I took it apart and it appears that I have 3 or 4 different types op chain mail. I will try to be as specific as possible.

First one consists of a pattern of 4 flat rings, 11mm in diameter, which are linked with 1 round ring (not flattened) also 11mm in diameter.

It appears that this is of demi-riveted construction, with the round rings being riveted and the flattened rings being solid. Can you find a missing rivet within the piece? It appears that the rivets are domed on the visible side. Is the reverse side similarly domed, or does it simply appear to be a piece of round wire?

Quote:
Second one, flat rings about 11mm in diameter, 4 in 1, but all the same. This piece starts with 1,5 mm thick rings but the rings seems to get smaller after about 20cm.

It is difficult to tell from the photograph if all rows are made of riveted rings or not. With the rows (left leaning or right leaning) oriented horizontally in your photograph as the normal way in which mail hangs, it appears the mail gets lighter on one side. This might be from the body of a shirt with the lighter mail belonging on the back.

Quote:
Third one is completely different. The rings are large, 14mm in diameter, whole flat and only 1mm thick. This piece is very light.

This again appears to be of demi-riveted construction.

Quote:
last one, thick rings, 11mm in diameter, 4 in 1. Heavy piece.

From the close-up photograph this is also clearly of demi-riveted construction. There appear to be a few missing rivets of round section.

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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had a quick look and you are right, it is all demi riveted. Does that mean that it is made in India, the Ottoman empire or Persia?
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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

Posts: 64

PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 1:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here some close up pictures from the rivets.


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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 1:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M Hermes wrote:
I had a quick look and you are right, it is all demi riveted. Does that mean that it is made in India, the Ottoman empire or Persia?


Most likely. Demi-riveted construction with round "pin" rivets seems to have been the norm in Europe until the mid-14th century when it appears to have been completely replaced with all riveted construction. Some sources indicate Turkish mail moved to all riveted construction in the 15th century, but Indo-Persian mail seems to have remained demi-riveted into the17th century, eventually being replaced with butted mail. Obviously finding early European mail is a more infrequent occurrence.

The third example seems to have a 90 degree joint (rows change direction) at the lower left of the photo, something usually seen in the armpit.

The second example looks like it might have some expansions at the lower edge of the lighter mail. These might be expansions over the hips, or turned around, contractions over the shoulders. Does Sample #2 have the heavier mail all along the top edge, or is this merely a false impression from the photography?

Thanks for taking such good photographs, as well as taking the time to share.

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M Hermes




Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 25 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The second example looks like it might have some expansions at the lower edge of the lighter mail. These might be expansions over the hips, or turned around, contractions over the shoulders. Does Sample #2 have the heavier mail all along the top edge, or is this merely a false impression from the photography?

I'm not sure about the expansions on the lower edge. There are few heavier rings attached to this lower edge . It does have the heavier mail along the top but it seems to get lighter to one corner.

Thanks for your reply!
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Mart Shearer




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

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PostPosted: Mon 24 Feb, 2014 10:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You may be able to add slightly to the value by identification. Would you rather have a "scrap of mail measuring 30cm x 60cm" or "Left breast and back of an Indo-Persian mail shirt"?

Regarding your second sample: If these are expansions in the red circles, it seems likely the heavier mail on the left side is the left or right breast of a shirt. The outside would have the protruding rivet heads while the inside is relatively flat. The heavier mail at the top would be towards the shoulders. The lighter mail would be on the back, and the expansions over the hips.

The method of expansion probably beginning 10 or 12 rows up from the bottom.



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Robert MacPherson
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Location: Jeffersonville USA
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2014 5:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:


The third example seems to have a 90 degree joint (rows change direction) at the lower left of the photo, something usually seen in the armpit.



Well spotted! (I missed it. Blush )

Mac

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Erik D. Schmid




Location: St. Cloud, MN
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2014 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Both pieces are of non-European mail. The thicker riveted links are quite worn, but they are in good enough condition to identify them as belonging to a group having a lapped area with a point that faces the inside of the link.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2014 12:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Upon further information from M. Hermes, it appear that Sample #2 was shown upside down, and my hypothesized hip expansions are actually the contractions over the shoulder blades. The mail is obviously thinner on a vertical line (now on the right side) and also on a line just above the tape measure. This would mean a lighter mail back and skirt, with heavier mail on the chest and shoulders. He has marked the edge of the heavier mail panel using pens. The heavier mail covering half the chest appears to be about 35cm (c.14") deep by 20cm (c.8") wide.

Re-oriented for the proper view:



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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 25 Feb, 2014 12:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Erik D. Schmid wrote:
Both pieces are of non-European mail. The thicker riveted links are quite worn, but they are in good enough condition to identify them as belonging to a group having a lapped area with a point that faces the inside of the link.



Erik,
Do you believe that interior point is indicative of non-European origin, or is simply a category? It seems more Persian/Caucasian than Indian in my limited experience.



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