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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2015 6:45 am    Post subject: authentication, 'armour of pedro alvarado', wierd greaves.         Reply with quote

today i visited an exhibition on the aztecs at the australian museum which, btw was pretty great, reccomend all those who live in sydney to see it

however the one piece of spanish armour puzzled me... it was supposedly attributed toi cortes right hand man pedro de alvarado and therefore dated to around 1520 or so but what struck me as wierd was, the armour felt a little plain for a man of such status, and second, that the greaves feature butted, flat ring maille around the back of the greave....

it struck me as wierd, since i cant think of any reason why it would be butted, even if it was small link size...

that and a few other things like inconsistant and not very crisp 'roping around the edges of the neck and shoulder areas made me think it was perhaps a 18th century replica to commemorate their hero or something similar

photos of the suit, and info cards attatches to the exhibits are in the photos on flickr |
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/ it appears i have some duplicates of the same picture which i'll get rid of fairly soon
https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/16007619299/ but you can see the maille is clearly butted
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2015 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll let others comment more fully on the mail (although I have huuuuge doubts) but the armour is a bit of a mess. Its certainly not 1520's and given its very cobbled together and not that convincing appearance I'd say avoid as any source to show what Mr Alvarado might have looked like.

If I get a chance I'll do a more detailed list but it has a more 1560's onwards feel to it (so its in the 1500's as they saybut thats speaking generally. If you had any other pics of the legs that would be jolly useful.

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.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
Joined: 27 Nov 2004

Posts: 669

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2015 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One of the index cards in the display says that the "breastplate" belonged to Pedro. If it's talking about the one below, then the style of decoration on it is certainly appropriate for the era.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/64955660@N08/15573258003/

Concerning the full harness, as Mark noted, it's definitely a mixed bag. The close helm is clearly a style that developed in the second half of the 16th century. The cuirass could c. 1520 or so, but not much earlier with the strong central rib and the long tassets (edit: I note one example in a brief search from the Royal Armouries dated 1515 with a similarly defined rib). The mitten gauntlets are reasonable for the 1520s, as is the arm harness... I'd put the pauldrons a bit later but that's not necessarily true... Gosh, I haven't looked at this 16th century stuff in a while, come to think of it! Pauldrons may be fine as well.

In any case, based on the way the stuff is fit together on the display it's hard to tell whether it "matches" at all, as far as fit and function are concerned if it were all sitting on a human. I doubt that much of it was originally all in the same place at the same time, though. Usually wasn't.

-Gregory
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sun 04 Jan, 2015 9:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
I'll let others comment more fully on the mail (although I have huuuuge doubts) but the armour is a bit of a mess. Its certainly not 1520's and given its very cobbled together and not that convincing appearance I'd say avoid as any source to show what Mr Alvarado might have looked like.

If I get a chance I'll do a more detailed list but it has a more 1560's onwards feel to it (so its in the 1500's as they saybut thats speaking generally. If you had any other pics of the legs that would be jolly useful.


no sadly i didnt get a chance, for esmereason it slipped my mind to take photos of it but maybe i'll contact themuseum and ask them to take a quick snap
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 5:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The powerful mid rib of the breastplate and it's downward pointed profile initially looked to me like it might be of a later period than 1520. But the poster above noted that they were around in 1520.

Maybe someone could discern if the breastplate and helmet contain the same engraved motif. It might give us some insight as to whether the two pieces are of the same period.
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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
The powerful mid rib of the breastplate and it's downward pointed profile initially looked to me like it might be of a later period than 1520. But the poster above noted that they were around in 1520.

Maybe someone could discern if the breastplate and helmet contain the same engraved motif. It might give us some insight as to whether the two pieces are of the same period.

i'll see if i can get more pictures, although entry to the exhibit isnt cheap, perhaps i can arrange a visit just to photograph the armour
and i dont have much time since, the exhibition ends in febuary
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 7:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The mitten gauntlets are reasonable for the 1520s,


The main bits of the hand are, the cuff looks a bit later,

The seperate breastplate is missing a chunk top of left shoulder and then the chamfron...

Its either been repaired, added to or generally mucked about with by someone very careless. Look at the eyes. Are they supposed to be inside or outside the main plate? Could be my reading of the pic though.

Same with the additional side bits, one inside, one out.

And the ears... Well my horse doesn't have ears like that. I'm suspecting a tourist piece here. The holes for the liner don't make much sense either, a bit brutal and misplaced.

Cant really tell but the visor doesn't look like it belongs to the helmet, a common fault. And the gorget ditto.

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.
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This vague depiction on the top left corner caught my attention.



I outlined the shield and leg wear in red. If those vertical stripes are what they look like then it might be a depiction of these padded hoses which where a mid to late 16th century thing and not something found in 1520.




However the shield could indicate it's meant to depict a soldier (possible roman or mythological) wearing a skirt/roman tunic.

If someone with a keener eye and more expertise says it's one of those late 16th century padded hoses then we can be pretty sure it's not from 1520. If not then maybe someone who knows more about 16th century mythological depictions can tell us from which decade it is. Perhaps it's a depiction of a saint like Saint Michael.
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 10:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd take my hat off to you but no point, you're obviously now blind by all that squinting at armour pictures!

Nice one, I concur with that.

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.
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Eric S




Location: new orleans
Joined: 22 Nov 2009
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Posts: 803

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: authentication, 'armour of pedro alvarado', wierd greave         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
the greaves feature butted, flat ring maille around the back of the greave....

it struck me as wierd, since i cant think of any reason why it would be butted, even if it was small link size...

you can see the maille is clearly butted


Perhaps funeral armor, made in a less expensive manner?
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

and the tassets touch at the cod area. They should sit a lot further out, following the line of the arch in the centre. The lower lame of the fauld is a bit mismatched too...

Everything below the waist hangs a bit squiffy, we've all been there...

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.
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
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Posts: 204

PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 11:00 am    Post subject: Authetication, "armour of Pedro Alvarado" ......         Reply with quote

William,

Thanks for posting this,really like the idea of finding obscure/hidden treasures.

Agree with all that is said ... The chamfron, gauntlets, etc. The half armour, and separate breast plate; a real mixed bag, but more than likely there are some original pieces here. However, the greaves, not only look like sections of stove pipe(?), but have not seen plate (front) and mail (rear) used so. Am doubtful as to how practical this would be, both in arming and how they would remain in place.

Although probably not pleasing to the purist, combining pieces (composite armour) certainly helps in the preservation of these items.

Regards,
Dan


Last edited by Daniel Sullivan on Tue 06 Jan, 2015 9:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Mon 05 Jan, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Authetication, "armour of Pedro Alvarado" ....         Reply with quote

Daniel Sullivan wrote:
Although probably not pleasing to the purist, combing pieces (composite armour) certainly helps in the preservation of these items.

I don't mind composite assemblies so long as the museum acknowledges that this is what they've done. I also don't mind the use of modern replicas to complete a harness - again, so long as it is acknowledged. My favourite displays are the ones that display the original item in its unrestored state and right beside it there is a modern reconstruction showing how it probably looked when it was being used.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
Reading list: 10 books

Posts: 578

PostPosted: Tue 06 Jan, 2015 10:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
I'd take my hat off to you but no point, you're obviously now blind by all that squinting at armour pictures!

Nice one, I concur with that.


Young eyes... young eyes.
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 529

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2015 10:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The helm is a fine example of Italian form c. 1600, as is that separate mutilated breastplate, both reminding me of the work of Pompeo della Cesa, but I wouldn't want to say so definitively without better photos. Pity the breast is so worn down. The gauntlet could be mostly real. The cuff looks early 'Maximilian', but a roped edge would be unusual for German stuff so early that you would have a fluted cuff without the fluting continuing, a nearly impossible thing in later 'Maximilian' armour. Ends of the flutes looks weird, too. Sometimes armour parts are composite, however. Spanish armour can be odd, though, if anything on the harness is of Spanish make at all. I have seen other examples of fine Italian work out of Mexico; the Spanish bought a lot of it, always did. Harness is often mis-attributed and mixed up. The 'Anne de Montmorency' harness at the Met NYC is a classic example.

Mail was made in Mexico, but the quality is not well documented. That butted stuff would be very odd, though, as the flat links would be more arrow resistant (links don't spread nearly as easily), but not as much as riveted, to be sure. Most likely a 'restoration'.

That horse chanfron... Laughing Out Loud

jamesarlen.com
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 09 Jan, 2015 10:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
That horse chanfron... Laughing Out Loud


i keep trying to think of a nice way of saying it but I think that sums it up pretty well James!

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.
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