Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Sutton Hoo mail coat - solid and riveted with copper rivets. Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next 
Author Message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Sutton Hoo mail coat - solid and riveted with copper rivets.         Reply with quote

I have wanted to get such a mail coat for a long time and have tried several different makers over the years but had no luck - recently Matt Bunker introduced me to a new English company - Armoured Up who were not only able to provide a coat with copper rivets but also have tailored it, too.
The original is a mass of corrosion products but the links are still visible and the copper rivets were revealed using x-rays. It is difficult to tell exactly what the original link size was but it is around the 6mm internal diameter. That' the size that Armoured Up has used on my coat. Unfortunately, very few other details can be gleaned from the remains of the mail, which now exists as a congealed heap. There does appear to have been rather a lot of it, so it may actually have been two garments.

I have added a picture.

Why copper rivets were used is difficult to say, but the Sutton Hoo coat isn't the only one.



 Attachment: 177.46 KB
[ Download ]
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 4:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought that the Sutton Hoo mail was 6mm outside diameter, not inside. I'll dig up the report and check. The problem is that there are no mass producers of mail that do links that small. IIRC there a custom mail maker in England called Tony Whittaker who has worked with copper rivets before. He might be worth contacting. Another is Mark Chapman. Their mail would be a lot closer to the original than the Indian mail in your photo.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Mart Shearer




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

Posts: 1,280

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

https://www.britishmuseum.org/pdf/9%20Adams-opt-sec.pdf
Quote:
p.96 Although badly corroded, scientific
examination determined that the mail was constructed of
alternate rows of welded or forged rings and rings with copper-alloy
rivets; these were approximately 8mm in diameter. It
cannot be determined whether the mail was sleeved or how
long it was, although the surviving volume and length (c.
6062cm) suggests that it was at least tunic length or longer,
depending upon whether it was folded in half or longitudinally.


http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collect...amp;page=1


Not the first time at the dance for either of you, I see.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=23745

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
View user's profile Send private message
Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 482

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 8:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really think that the listed mass of 11.23 grams is inaccurate for the mail fragment. Kilograms, I could believe--but a copper and iron/iron oxide mass more than a silver dollar weighing only 2% of a pound?

Back on track, are there more mail masses or depictions of likely mailed persons from this time period that might better indicate the size or shape of the original garment?

"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Mart. Though the link diameter in this instance doesn't really mean much. Iron increases significantly in volume as it oxidises. It is likely that the original diameter of the links was a lot smaller than the rusted remains.

Kai Lawson wrote:
I really think that the listed mass of 11.23 grams is inaccurate for the mail fragment. Kilograms, I could believe--but a copper and iron/iron oxide mass more than a silver dollar weighing only 2% of a pound?

Museum catalogues listing incorrect weights happens so often that none of the listed weights can be trusted until a curator verifies them.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The copper rivets are perplexing. Nobody has come up with a plausible reason why they were used. Perhaps they were intended for decorative purposes.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan -- it isn't Indian mail -- whatever that means. It was made in England by Stephen Rhodes of Armoured Up.
The sizing of rings in the report (Bruce-Mitford 1978 page 232 is ) 8 cm and this is qualified by the word 'estimated'. The ring size chosen at 6mm internal diameter produces a similar external diameter to 8 mm.
BTW I know Tony Whittaker and approached him years ago to see if he was interested in making a coat for me; he wasn't -- I also asked a well known maker in he USA and never got an answer.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Tue 04 Mar, 2014 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kai -- the original report gives 11.23 Kg. There are depictions of mail being worn from the period -- the images appear on pressed plates on helmets from Sweden and England -- (the English examples were found in the Staffordshire Hoard -- it is possible that they weren't mounted on a helmet - we can't know for sure).
Mart - you are correct, of course.






Authorof Woden Warriors; Warfare, Beliefs, Arms and Armour in Northern Europe during the 6th and 7th Centuries.
Remaking the Sutton Hoo Stone: the Ansell-Roper Relica and its Context
Both published by Anglo-Saxon Books
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Paul Mortimer wrote:
Dan -- it isn't Indian mail -- whatever that means. It was made in England by Stephen Rhodes of Armoured Up..

The links are imported from India - they have a distinctive "soda can ring pull" appearance. They don't look anything like historical European mail.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 1:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan -- we will just have to disagree. Having seen quite a few surviving pieces of period mail from various places in England, and the Continent, I think that it is a good approximation and does resemble actual finds.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 1:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd love to see pics of some - anything dating before the 16th century.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan -- you mean that you haven't seen pictures of the mail from Vimose -- the mail on the Swedish helmet finds -- The mail from the Coppergate helmet? You do surprise me.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 981

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 3:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here's an excellent museum photo of the Vimose hauberk. Zoom in to 100% and look closely at the riveted links, especially around the tears and the neck hole where you can see them from all angles. You'll see they look quite different from those posted here.
The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 4:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am not saying that the new mail looks exactly like the originals in all the close details - I did try to get that done via other makers but I could get no-one to take the project on as I explained in previous post. What I am saying is that the new mail is a very reasonable reproduction and for most purposes perfectly adequate.
This is also the first attempt, as far as I know, to replicate the effect of copper rivets; it is around that, I feel, that it would be most useful to have a discussion.

Almost all (if not all) replicas have to involve some compromises, either in the materials, the working methods, etc.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,197

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 4:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I suppose a Volkswagen and a Rolls Royce both look like cars but you can't get a RR for the price of a VW.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
View user's profile Send private message
Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 612

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 6:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The copper rivets are perplexing. Nobody has come up with a plausible reason why they were used. Perhaps they were intended for decorative purposes.


I can certainly see bronze rivets being used as would have some strength as well as being decorative. Pure copper rivets? Na-ah. Too mushy. The report referenced above clearly states copper alloy; that's museum speak for some variant of bronze.

Paul if you can't see the difference between mechanically flattened overlaps on Indian rings compared to no similarly flattened overlap in western or eastern mail... then please continue to enjoy your commission. Happy
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
Joined: 16 Nov 2004
Reading list: 13 books

Posts: 981

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 6:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, I see no reason why he shouldn't enjoy it. If he says it's adequate for his purposes, that's really all that matters in that regard.

Just keep in mind the large stamped tabs look nothing like historical mail (at least up close), are likely to make for a weaker construction and can potentially interfere with the way the weave moves.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is certainly possible that the rivets were of bronze and those would have been pretty much as strong as iron.

Dan -- VWs and Rolls Royces? Well really!
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Kai Lawson




Location: Madison, WI
Joined: 26 Aug 2010
Likes: 7 pages

Posts: 482

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 8:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While we're on the subject of 'interesting' mail (i.e. copper alloy rivets instead of iron), can anyone give me any clues as to why the manufacture of some form of plated mail doesn't appear to be widespread in the west? I believe that the late western roman heavy cavalry had some variant of it (or could have possibly made the jump to it from what they were using; I may be utterly wrong here). Is there a cultural or physical reason it was not introduced?
"And they crossed swords."
--William Goldman, alias S. Morgenstern
View user's profile Send private message
Paul Mortimer




Location: England, Essex
Joined: 28 Aug 2003
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 285

PostPosted: Wed 05 Mar, 2014 9:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel - the original science report by W A Oddy and A E A Werner (Bruce-Mitford 1978 page 20) on examining a surviving rivet, says, "The spot was found to be mainly copper, containing lesser quantities of iron, lead, silver, silicon magnesium and calcium. These elements are mostly derived from the soil and the rivets were probably made of copper containing small amounts of lead and silver." So perhaps not bronze?

As for not 'seeing the difference between mechanically flattened overlaps on Indian rings compared to no similarly flattened overlap in western or eastern mail... then please continue to enjoy your commission" -- I tell you again, that I have seen quite a few examples of period mail in England, Sweden and Denmark - and unless you get up really close, you don't really notice any difference.
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Sutton Hoo mail coat - solid and riveted with copper rivets.
Page 1 of 4 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum