Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Plate collar/yoke armour in history? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 29 Nov, 2014 3:40 am    Post subject: Plate collar/yoke armour in history?         Reply with quote

The recent discussion on Roman banded/segmented armour reminded me of Matthew Amt's notes on one of the earliest finds on that armour and the idea that it might have consisted only of the collar yoke (pectoral, upper-back, and connecting plates over the shoulders) plus the shoulder armour lames while the rest of the torso would have been covered with mail rather than the usual "tube" of torso lames.

It's an interesting notion since this kind of armour (a plate collar/yoke over the shoulders and mail over the rest of the torso) seems to be fairly common in "medieval" fantasy illustrations and motion-picture renditions today (particularly the BBC "Merlin" series, which ran from 2008 to 2012). At first glance this looks like a combination that could have existed in history, albeit at a much later date -- let's say a 16th-century Almain collar on top of a haubergeon -- but I don't think I've ever really seen this specific combination in actual historical illustrations, muster rolls, or inventory lists. The Almain collar seems to have been pretty consistently intended to be worn in conjunction with a cuirass, while the mail shirt was worn on its own or with a mail standard rather than a plate collar. Am I getting the correct picture here, or am I missing some pretty important examples?

I'd also certainly like to know about other kinds of "plate yoke" armour that existed in cultures outside Classical and medieval Europe, if any.
View user's profile Send private message
Shahril Dzulkifli




Location: Malaysia
Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 1,265

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2014 8:33 am    Post subject: Plate collar/yoke armour in history?         Reply with quote

I haven't heard of yoke armour yet. But I'm not sure whether it had been worn by real-life knights in the past or not.
“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength”

- Marcus Aurelius
View user's profile Send private message
Márk György Kis





Joined: 02 Jul 2013

Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2014 1:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette, do you mean the Alba Iulia relief which shows mail shoulders and plate torso?

http://www.roma-victrix.com/armamentarium/img...ata30b.jpg
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Wed 03 Dec, 2014 3:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Márk György Kis wrote:
Lafayette, do you mean the Alba Iulia relief which shows mail shoulders and plate torso?

http://www.roma-victrix.com/armamentarium/img...ata30b.jpg

Anyone been able to piece together any more evidence about this relief? Because it look to be in pretty bad shape, that might just corrosion or fracture marks.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 7:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, it's exactly the other way around with plate on the shoulders and mail on the rest of the torso. I'm attaching a still from the BBC Merlin to show what I meant (and yes, it's a bit of an eyesore, but bear with me).


 Attachment: 70.76 KB
SF4Hh.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
Dan Howard




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

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 3,190

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 12:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
Márk György Kis wrote:
Lafayette, do you mean the Alba Iulia relief which shows mail shoulders and plate torso?

http://www.roma-victrix.com/armamentarium/img...ata30b.jpg

Anyone been able to piece together any more evidence about this relief? Because it look to be in pretty bad shape, that might just corrosion or fracture marks.

It takes a lot of wishful thinking to see mail in that sculpture.

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




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,302

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 1:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to clarify my own involvement in this, I was thinking of a discussion relayed to me by (I think!) Mike Bishop, possibly between him and Peter Connolly. Anyway, it was a couple of the Big Names of Roman Military Equipment in the UK.

The main point was the data and details of the Kalkriese lorica segmentata, the earliest type(s) that we can document. And the problem was that while we have very obvious girdle (torso) plates for the well-known Corbridge lorica, and obvious girdle plate lacing loops for the Kalkriese type B lorica, the finds for the Kalkriese type A are much more fragmentary, and include nothing that can be reasonably interpreted as a girdle plate or fittings from it. We only have shoulder and collar pieces, with straps or buckles hanging down to connect to whatever it below.

Add to the mix a hotly debated relief from Arles in France, that *seems* to show Roman cavalrymen with segmented/articulated shoulder guards on a mailshirt, and one Big Name said to the other Big Name, "What if there *aren't* any girdle plates? What if it was mail?" And the theory was born.

Add to that a couple chunks of Roman mail that have turned up with a buckle riveted on. Now, those those are *probably* for attaching a perfectly "normal" Roman-style shoulder doubling to its shirt, but possibly for attaching the shirt to segmented collar sections?

On the other hand, if the Kalkriese type A girdle plates fastened with straps and buckles, we've got tons of them, and the Phantom Girdle Plate problem disappears. Can't prove it until we find a big enough piece, though. There is some visual evidence for that idea, though, in the form of a relief showing captured armor including an apparent segmented cuirass with straps and buckles down the front. Not *Roman* armor, though... OR maybe some of the Kalkriese B fittings we have are actually Kalkriese A...

Bottom line, at the moment, the idea of Roman plate shoulders on a mail body is not much more than a theory.

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Thu 04 Dec, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
No, it's exactly the other way around with plate on the shoulders and mail on the rest of the torso. I'm attaching a still from the BBC Merlin to show what I meant (and yes, it's a bit of an eyesore, but bear with me).

Bit of a eye eye sore is understatement. His pladrom way to big and solid, which would limit his sword movement and his shield way to small to employed as suitable substitute left arm defense and I think his gorget serve more to protect his chest than his throat.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 5:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The pauldron and gorget aren't really that bad in their own right, especially if seen in the correct historical context as part of a late 16th-/early 17th-century cuirassier armour like this (to borrow Daniel Staberg's photograph):



And you can see that the pauldron itself is articulated over its upper half, which helps enormously with arm and shoulder mobility. What makes the combination ugly is that the late-Renaissance pauldron and gorget are matched with a hauberk in the 11th-century style and a surcoat in a 13th-century style on a character who's supposed to have lived at some point between the 4th and 8th centuries -- not to mention a 21st century hairstyle. But, given some modifications to make the armour look more temporally consistent (say, using a 16th-century Almain collar and arm defences with a contemporary haubergeon), I can see how it can be made to look much better from a historical viewpoint. I just don't know whether the combination of plate on the shoulders of upper arms and mail on the torso can be supported with verifiable historical sources.
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Sat 06 Dec, 2014 6:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
The pauldron and gorget aren't really that bad in their own right, especially if seen in the correct historical context as part of a late 16th-/early 17th-century cuirassier armour like this (to borrow Daniel Staberg's photograph):



And you can see that the pauldron itself is articulated over its upper half, which helps enormously with arm and shoulder mobility. What makes the combination ugly is that the late-Renaissance pauldron and gorget are matched with a hauberk in the 11th-century style and a surcoat in a 13th-century style on a character who's supposed to have lived at some point between the 4th and 8th centuries -- not to mention a 21st century hairstyle. But, given some modifications to make the armour look more temporally consistent (say, using a 16th-century Almain collar and arm defences with a contemporary haubergeon), I can see how it can be made to look much better from a historical viewpoint. I just don't know whether the combination of plate on the shoulders of upper arms and mail on the torso can be supported with verifiable historical sources.

Yes, but I couldn't see if the pauldron in the Merlin picture is articulated or solid,it looks solid to me, and Arthur isn't wearing helmet, which this statute is wearing helmet which protects his head and neck and the gorget provide a way for the breastplate to nor bear it's wieght on the shoulders. Also,it pretty clear from watching the show that they (rather lacklusterly) are modeling the show after the Jeffery of Momoth Arthurian legend, in which the 13th century style armour and clothing would fit better than 4th to 8thcentury clothing would. We don't know if Arthur existed and when he would have existed. 4th to 8th century is just or best guess so far. I honestly critisizing the Hairstyle a bit anal this is not a outlandish hairstyle, like what Ragnar is sporting is Vikings, and could be easily conceling by making hin wearing a arming cap and coif, helmet, etc.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Trust me, it's articulated.



No matter how low your opinion of film costume directors might be, I don't think they're stupid enough to saddle their actors with an unarticulated pauldron of that size -- that'd prevent the actor from doing any action scenes at all.


Anyway, to return to the original subject of whether such plate collars/yokes existed in history, I'm adding an example from a late 15th-century edition of Le Livre des Cleres et Nobles Femmes, which in itself is a French translation of Boccacio's De Mulieribus Claris. The image is meant to show Laodice or Berenice of Cappadocia, a Classical figure that the artist could not have possibly met in person, so it's pretty safe to assume that this illustration is the medieval version of historical fantasy and can't be taken at face value as evidence that such armour existed; all the same, it's interesting to know that the idea was known (albeit only in a fantastic context) at the time.



 Attachment: 45.22 KB
2f40ba6475068e829504a0ee443520eb.jpg

View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
No matter how low your opinion of film costume directors might be, I don't think they're stupid enough to saddle their actors with an unarticulated pauldron of that size -- that'd prevent the actor from doing any action scenes at all.


Yes they would, absolutely. I've seen it all the time on set. When an actor needs to move in this sort of crud they just produce a cast in flexible rubber. Been there, done that. Or just remove the offending item in a contrived angry tearing off bits of harness moment. He's not wearing a helmet you notice...

The cuirassier pauldrons in the 70's Cromwell film were made in a soft rubber, a pretty cruddy fibreglass and a weird pastic material for example. Most, apart from a few principle items, had no articulatiuon, and they were for riding in.

Comparing vaguely researched film armour thats meant to be medieval with a rather specific 17th cent harness seems to me to be a bit like comparing KITT from Knight Rider with a Model T-Ford.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 2:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
His pladrom way to big and solid, which would limit his sword movement and his shield way to small to employed as suitable substitute left arm defense and I think his gorget serve more to protect his chest than his throat.


The pauldron is not too far off some of the larger Greenwich armours, his sheild is a perfectly good version of the smaller heater sheild and that gorget is not too disimilar to some of the more basic late 16th/early 17th cent northern european munition armours. Lots 218 and 220 in this sale from last week for example

http://www.thomasdelmar.com/Catalogues/as031214/index.html

But thats me comparing equipment made by theatrical armourers to a design by a non-academic entertainment craftsperson with real examples. Not really an exact science.

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.


Last edited by Mark Griffin on Wed 10 Dec, 2014 12:59 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Phil D.




Location: Texas
Joined: 23 Sep 2003
Reading list: 56 books

Posts: 590

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know the historical accuracy of it in later ages but it seems to be popular in Hollywood. Below is a pic of unattached pauldrons and gorget. I also remember in this and other movies where foot soldiers wore the gorget and pauldrons simply over a quilted/padded garment...
"A bottle of wine contains more philosophy than all the books in the world." -- Louis Pasteur

"A gentleman should never leave the house without a sharp knife, a good watch, and great hat."
View user's profile Send private message
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 494

PostPosted: Tue 09 Dec, 2014 6:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
Quote:
His pladrom way to big and solid, which would limit his sword movement and his shield way to small to employed as suitable substitute left arm defense and I think his gorget serve more to protect his chest than his throat.


The pauldron is not too far off some of the larger Greenwich armours, his sheild is a perfectly good version of the smaller heater sheild and that gorget is not too disimilar to some of the more basic late 16th/early 17th cent northern european munition armours. Lots 218 and 220 in this sale from last week for example

Quote:
http://www.thomasdelmar.com/Catalogues/as031214/index.html


But thats me comparing equipment made by theatrical armourers to a design by a non-academic entertainment craftsperson with real examples. Not really an exact science.

But thos gorgets were designed to be deployed with helmet that also covers the neck, his neck is comptely exposed, Also, when those small heater were made when people had long sleeved haubreks to protect their arms in the very least, he has no leg armour and shield to small in width and hieght to serve as good forearm and leg armor, he would have croah ridicoulsly low just to cover his thighs and eve more so to cover his ankles.
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Wed 10 Dec, 2014 12:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will answer this in 3 ways-

1. But its a film/tv production.
2. But its a film/tv production.
3. But its a film tv production.

So discussing the finer, or even not so finer, points of accuracy of anything is pretty moot. It wil always be altered reality, based on that the production/costume designer wants. Ironic that poor old Joan has turned up, she's wearing a load of crud when compared to some of the other stuff that actually had some care and attention taken over it. Not that anyone in the general public audience would know or care. As long as nothing jarrs terribly ther producers will be happy.

I work on lots of productions, often biting my tongue but also there are little moments when I am able to smile when I am able to get something right. So there is some 'real' armour in the BBC Wolf Hall. But there is some wtf? stuff as well. I spent a day unloading all my knowledge about early 16th cent jousting to the prod company most of which they chose to discard. But thats the same in many industries. I give my advice, they dont have to follow it and I get paid either way. But its nice when they do....

Currently working on projects ranging from Elizabethan pageants to a WW1 Tank, Victorian fairgrounds 1066 events and more. Oh and we joust loads!.. We run over 250 events for English Heritage each year plus many others for Historic Royal Palaces, Historic Scotland, the National Trust and more. If you live in the UK and are interested in working for us just drop us a line with a cv.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. And too much nitpicking takes the discussion too far away from the main question I raised, which is: has anyone seen any historical evidence for the actual use of this kind of combination with plate (or banded/segmented) armour on the shoulders and mail or soft armour on the rest of the torso?

Just to reinforce how prevalent it is today in fantasy armour designs, here's one more example of a LARP version, presumably by Epic Armoury (because that's where I first saw this exact model):



And since I keep coming up with more and more modern examples but still no luck with ancient, medieval, or Renaissance originals (except for one illustration that's arguably a fantasy design too), maybe I have to start asking the question of why this kind of armour seems to be particularly popular today. Is there something in the modern sense of aesthetics that makes it look particularly attractive, or is there some reason why it seems to make more mechanical/sartorial sense to modern wearers that it apparently did back then in the ancient and medieval period?
View user's profile Send private message
Jasper B.




Location: Europe
Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 12:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure it is relevant, but I browsed through the Albums here at myArmoury.com and in the album Armory in Castel Sant'Angelo, Vatican City in the section Museum Photographs are the follwing photos:



Hope it is helpful

J.B.
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 1:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's very interesting, and thanks for pointing that out since I haven't delved into more than a small fraction of what's available in the albums. Too bad there's no information on the provenance of the armour, though (especially with regards to how old/genuine it is and whether this is/was its original configuration).
View user's profile Send private message
Jasper B.




Location: Europe
Joined: 09 Dec 2014
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 48

PostPosted: Sun 14 Dec, 2014 2:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Maybe you can find out more by searching the museum's website (I didn't check if they even have one)?

Generally speaking, I can say that the Vatican has many enormously valuable collections. For example they have piles of mint conditionTerra Sigilata plates and bowls stacked up like you would do with your everyday plates in your cupboard. In just about every other museum, just one of those plates in such a condition would be displayed as a prime attraction.

As such, I expect the armor to be genuine and in its original configuration. Mostly because I cannot imagine why they would put something on display that is non-original given the collection they have.

edit
A quick search reveals that the album's title is somewhat misleading: Castel Sant'Angelo is close by, but not in Vatican City. So my above reasoning isn't really valid in this case.

J.B.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Plate collar/yoke armour in history?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
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