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J. T. Harrison





Joined: 06 Jun 2014

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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun, 2014 4:32 pm    Post subject: Bayeux tapestry Sleeves and Chausses         Reply with quote

I've heard discussion about the squares of mail on the chests of the Normans in the Bayeux tapestry, and most people seem to agree that they are meant to depict ventails. That seems reasonable to me. What confuses me is to do with the arms and legs of some of the Normans. For some of the figures, the embroiderers use the same ring pattern on the shins and forearms as they use on the torso to depict mail. On the shins this can be taken to depict Chausses, but I'm at a loss to understand what they were trying to show on the arms. It looks like a wrist length sleeve of mail, with something like a garter half way between the shoulder and the elbow. In the attached image, it's most noticeable on the rightmost pair of figures. Would anybody care to speculate about what the embroiderers were trying to illustrate?

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Tim Lison




Location: Chicago, Illinois
Joined: 05 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Fri 06 Jun, 2014 6:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks to me like a short sleeved hauberk with some sort of forearm protection. Perhaps it is some kind of mail tube worn over the arm? Maybe the hauberks were older and instead of take them apart to sew new sleeves onto them, they just made a piece for the forearm? Could be that the mail ends at the sleeve and the forearm had another kind of protection?
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