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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Tue 17 Mar, 2015 5:03 pm    Post subject: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

Allow me to preface this question with a notification: I'll keep the question relatively open to allow and facilitate other people to chime in and share their knowledge. However the scope of this question is limited to the 15th century.

Now let's get on with the actual question(s).


Looking at extant pieces of 15th century armor you'll notice a lot of variance in both the form and shape of the armor, the quality and decoration. I assume we cannot take the limited amount of armor put on display as an accurate sample of what an army in the late medieval period would look like. What I noticed when looking at large volumes of armor pictures from the dissertation of Mathias Goll was that, relatively un-decorated satin polished armor seemed to be the most common type of armor. Now I wonder how the man-at-arms and leaders at the battle of Castillon 562 years ago would have looked like that day. I'd imagine you would have man-at-arms present barely able to pay for the equipment required to qualify for duty and the richest peers of the nation present. How many would actually fight in highly decorated armor and such? I suppose I should first compile a list of armor decoration or other 'battlefield pomp' which might serve to indicate wealth, identification or has a more practical usage.

Gilding

Gilded armor is shown on a few extant examples like the Sigismund of Tyrol armor (though this is of a later date). This gilding is only partial though. Kings in medieval manuscripts are often shown wearing fully gilded armor, is this an artistic device to indicate that person is the king or do we have extant examples of 15th century fully gilded armor? The only example I can think of is the 16th century set of armor of Henry the Eight.

Is there any evidence of other gilding metals being used such as tin, bronze or silver?

Paint/Varnish

Again there are a few extant examples of painted armor (most notable a German sallet I believe). I have also found some depictions of crosses shown on plain armor in Die Schweizer Bilderchronik des Luzerners Diebold Schilling (1515) which I believe is a simple paint. It would make sense seeing how easy/cheap it is to apply and remove to use it for identification. Perhaps this factor and the zealousness of Victorian curators to clean armor explains why I cannot find an example, though this is just guesswork on my part.

Fully painted armor (which I lack evidence for outside of German 'Black armor') could possible protect armor from the elements and serve as a display of wealth.

Cloth

Coat of arms, tabard, livery coat, livery badge are some of the names I heard and saw being thrown around in primary and secondary sources. Perhaps these were all interchangeable to the medieval man but it seems there is a modern distinction between them. To my knowledge a coat of arms is a relatively wide short sleeved garment worn over armor that tapers slightly towards the waist and then widens again. I've seen some modern interpretations in art made for Osprey books, usually reserved for high ranking persons to display their heraldry. Now I wonder if there was some sort of requirement to be met to wear one of these coats? Could any man-at-arms of gentle birth wear one of these to display his family crest of were they reserved for knighted gentlemen, high nobility or even peers of the realm?

Tabard seems to be used to indicate a similar sort of garment but without sleeves, however other times it is used interchangeable with Coat of arms. I don't really know what to make of this.

Livery coats and badges are mentioned in several primary sources as being given to infantry soldiers and sometimes men at arms. I do not know if their construction differs from a coat of arms in anything other than displaying the heraldry/crest of the leading officer/employer instead of personal heraldry. Reenactors seems to interpreted it as a fitted (sleeveless)coat.

The livery badge is something of a mystery to me. I can imagine it being a cheaper alternative to a full livery coat, easily sewn on a gambeson or such. How a plate armored man would attach this to his armor is lost on me. Perhaps every man-at-arms wore some kind of jacket over his armor to which he could attach it but this doesn't seem to be the case when looking at medieval artwork.

Other stuff

Things that come to mind are plumes and other helmet decoration such as turbans, I probably forgot some things which fit this category Worried

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Now trying to get this question back on track:

What would a representative sample of 100 men-at-arms from say the Battle of Castillon look like? Would it be a colorful bunch with a few folks in (partially) gilded or painted armor, some more wearing a fancy Coat of arms proudly displaying their lineage, some lesser well off retinue man-at-arms wearing livery coats or just a simple painted crest... OR would the majority consist of faceless mooks in satin polished armor with no identification whatsoever?


I'm sorry for the large volume of questions I managed to shoehorn in this post, when I started writing the whole question started to derail.
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Mar, 2015 5:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Portuguese armour at Aljubarrota (1385): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons...ota_02.jpg

As far as I remember, Portugal didn't have a great metallurgy, even in early kingdoms which formed Spain, most of armour came from Toledo or was imported.


Basil, the Bulgarslayer and Gilded Brunea:



Every Akolouthos are intended to worn gilded and blue lamellar armour:




Also, some Varangians wore some gilded mail:
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Mar, 2015 5:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hellenic Armours made a reconstruction of the klivanion of St. Nestorius , which is made of cooper and bronze lamellae

[/img]
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
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Posts: 176

PostPosted: Wed 18 Mar, 2015 2:56 am    Post subject: Re: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:

Cloth

Coat of arms, tabard, livery coat, livery badge are some of the names I heard and saw being thrown around in primary and secondary sources. Perhaps these were all interchangeable to the medieval man but it seems there is a modern distinction between them. To my knowledge a coat of arms is a relatively wide short sleeved garment worn over armor that tapers slightly towards the waist and then widens again. I've seen some modern interpretations in art made for Osprey books, usually reserved for high ranking persons to display their heraldry. Now I wonder if there was some sort of requirement to be met to wear one of these coats? Could any man-at-arms of gentle birth wear one of these to display his family crest of were they reserved for knighted gentlemen, high nobility or even peers of the realm?

Tabard seems to be used to indicate a similar sort of garment but without sleeves, however other times it is used interchangeable with Coat of arms. I don't really know what to make of this.

Livery coats and badges are mentioned in several primary sources as being given to infantry soldiers and sometimes men at arms. I do not know if their construction differs from a coat of arms in anything other than displaying the heraldry/crest of the leading officer/employer instead of personal heraldry. Reenactors seems to interpreted it as a fitted (sleeveless)coat.

The livery badge is something of a mystery to me. I can imagine it being a cheaper alternative to a full livery coat, easily sewn on a gambeson or such. How a plate armored man would attach this to his armor is lost on me. Perhaps every man-at-arms wore some kind of jacket over his armor to which he could attach it but this doesn't seem to be the case when looking at medieval artwork.


Cutting into these to try and help clarify a bit.

A tabard is (roughly) an over-armour garment, without defensive properties. Generally sleeveless and not too long, it seems to mostly (at least now) be a more minimal later development of the surcoat. The term doesn't necessarily require it to have any particular design.

A coat of arms is just a tabard or surcoat or similar displaying the wearer's arms. Often more ornate and fancier, because the wearer tends to be the wealthier sort.

If your tabard or coat is displaying somebody else's colours, it's a livery coat. The other key difference is that generally a livery coat is just in a colour or colours, instead of fully reproducing their arms.

Finally, a livery badge is a metal badge, in the design of the charge of your boss's arms.

So as a worked example, consider a knight called Richard, with arms of Vert, a Boar rampant or.

He'd wear his coat of arms - a green garment, with a golden boar on it. His herald might wear a similar garment, as a direct representative.

Armed men fighting for him would wear a livery coat or livery badge in his colours. That might well be a green coat (amusingly, it could also be a completely different colour - the key thing is that they're wearing the same colour as each other, though). Others might be wearing a pewter badge of a boar, perhaps pinned onto a piece of green cloth.

I hope that helps vaguely clarify those. Afraid I'm short on sources at the moment - am typing from a train.
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Pieter B.





Joined: 16 Feb 2014
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PostPosted: Wed 18 Mar, 2015 9:54 am    Post subject: Re: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

T. Kew wrote:
Pieter B. wrote:

Cloth

Coat of arms, tabard, livery coat, livery badge are some of the names I heard and saw being thrown around in primary and secondary sources. Perhaps these were all interchangeable to the medieval man but it seems there is a modern distinction between them. To my knowledge a coat of arms is a relatively wide short sleeved garment worn over armor that tapers slightly towards the waist and then widens again. I've seen some modern interpretations in art made for Osprey books, usually reserved for high ranking persons to display their heraldry. Now I wonder if there was some sort of requirement to be met to wear one of these coats? Could any man-at-arms of gentle birth wear one of these to display his family crest of were they reserved for knighted gentlemen, high nobility or even peers of the realm?

Tabard seems to be used to indicate a similar sort of garment but without sleeves, however other times it is used interchangeable with Coat of arms. I don't really know what to make of this.

Livery coats and badges are mentioned in several primary sources as being given to infantry soldiers and sometimes men at arms. I do not know if their construction differs from a coat of arms in anything other than displaying the heraldry/crest of the leading officer/employer instead of personal heraldry. Reenactors seems to interpreted it as a fitted (sleeveless)coat.

The livery badge is something of a mystery to me. I can imagine it being a cheaper alternative to a full livery coat, easily sewn on a gambeson or such. How a plate armored man would attach this to his armor is lost on me. Perhaps every man-at-arms wore some kind of jacket over his armor to which he could attach it but this doesn't seem to be the case when looking at medieval artwork.


Cutting into these to try and help clarify a bit.

A tabard is (roughly) an over-armour garment, without defensive properties. Generally sleeveless and not too long, it seems to mostly (at least now) be a more minimal later development of the surcoat. The term doesn't necessarily require it to have any particular design.

A coat of arms is just a tabard or surcoat or similar displaying the wearer's arms. Often more ornate and fancier, because the wearer tends to be the wealthier sort.

If your tabard or coat is displaying somebody else's colours, it's a livery coat. The other key difference is that generally a livery coat is just in a colour or colours, instead of fully reproducing their arms.

Finally, a livery badge is a metal badge, in the design of the charge of your boss's arms.

So as a worked example, consider a knight called Richard, with arms of Vert, a Boar rampant or.

He'd wear his coat of arms - a green garment, with a golden boar on it. His herald might wear a similar garment, as a direct representative.

Armed men fighting for him would wear a livery coat or livery badge in his colours. That might well be a green coat (amusingly, it could also be a completely different colour - the key thing is that they're wearing the same colour as each other, though). Others might be wearing a pewter badge of a boar, perhaps pinned onto a piece of green cloth.

I hope that helps vaguely clarify those. Afraid I'm short on sources at the moment - am typing from a train.


Thanks for the clarification.

Although it does raise a few more questions.

Was the tabard replaced by the sleeved coat of arms in the 15th century?

This is the garment I am referring too: Notice the Duke of Brittany



Extant example:







Was this a garment used only be heralds or would folks actually fight wearing these?


As for livery coats: Would a man-at-arms, say the second son of a minor landowner be able to display his own arms if he fought in the retinue of the count of Anjou?

I am a bit confused as to when you could/would fight under your own arms/banner. As far as I am aware the majority of man-at-arms were made up out of gentry and had some sort of family crest/arms to display.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2015 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tabards weren't always sleeveless -- sometimes they had sleeve-like flaps but the bottom seam along the sleeves isn't sewn closed, and (in many cases) neither are the sides of the garment's body, so the garment as a whole cut like a very loose coat but worn more like a cloak/cape. Modern officers of arms (kings-of-arms, heralds, and pursuivants) still regularly wear tabards whose design has changed little since the 16th century:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Heraldic_tabards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bavarian_Herald.jpg

This thread has some earlier images (1490s) of the Knights of St. John at the siege of Rhodes in 1480, so they're probably more directly relevant to the 15th century or so: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8951&start=0

And no, I don't think tabards were replaced by "sleeved coat of arms" in the 15th century. If anything -- the tabard in the narrower definition (i.e. the ceremonial garment worn by heralds today and its direct ancestors) didn't seem to exist before the 15th century.
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2015 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Tabards weren't always sleeveless -- sometimes they had sleeve-like flaps but the bottom seam along the sleeves isn't sewn closed, and (in many cases) neither are the sides of the garment's body, so the garment as a whole cut like a very loose coat but worn more like a cloak/cape. Modern officers of arms (kings-of-arms, heralds, and pursuivants) still regularly wear tabards whose design has changed little since the 16th century:

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Heraldic_tabards

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bavarian_Herald.jpg

This thread has some earlier images (1490s) of the Knights of St. John at the siege of Rhodes in 1480, so they're probably more directly relevant to the 15th century or so: http://myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=8951&start=0

And no, I don't think tabards were replaced by "sleeved coat of arms" in the 15th century. If anything -- the tabard in the narrower definition (i.e. the ceremonial garment worn by heralds today and its direct ancestors) didn't seem to exist before the 15th century.


Ah so the pictures I posted are essentially tabards worn over armor. It would be great if we had some sort of standard terminology for this. Something denoting the construction and the things it displayed.

Thanks for the other thread by the way, you can clearly see the detail of how it was worn. It just leaves the question who wore what and when.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2015 7:06 am    Post subject: Re: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Was this a garment used only be heralds or would folks actually fight wearing these?


It's hard to tell. The shorter version (as in the illustration of the Hospitallers at Rhodes) wouldn't have impeded the wearer's movement much, so it could have conceivably been worn in combat -- though we have no clear-cut evidence for it. The heralds' larger tent-like version is obviously not suited for combat. That being said, a garment of very similar but somewhat more practical design (I'm not sure about the exact name, though I've heard the terms "cassock" and mandillion") was quite popular in the 17th century, and it appears that the Royal and Cardinal's Musketeers went into battle wearing them. Of course that doesn't really help in determining whether this garment was worn on the field in the 15th century!


Quote:
As for livery coats: Would a man-at-arms, say the second son of a minor landowner be able to display his own arms if he fought in the retinue of the count of Anjou? I am a bit confused as to when you could/would fight under your own arms/banner. As far as I am aware the majority of man-at-arms were made up out of gentry and had some sort of family crest/arms to display.


Depends on many factors. If the man-at-arms (or his father) had the money to equip himself completely, he could have got away with wearing his own (or at least his family's) arms. But if he had to borrow or ask money from the Count to complete a significant portion of his equipment, the Count might have felt entitled to insist that the poor man-at-arms wear his colours instead. Or the Count could have chosen to show his magnanimity and allowed the man-at-arms to wear his own personal/family arms instead. I don't think there was a clear-cut rule and people would have had to negotiate over it before joining a company or retinue. It might even have been a significant factor in choosing which company/retinue to join.
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2015 8:08 am    Post subject: Re: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:


Depends on many factors. If the man-at-arms (or his father) had the money to equip himself completely, he could have got away with wearing his own (or at least his family's) arms. But if he had to borrow or ask money from the Count to complete a significant portion of his equipment, the Count might have felt entitled to insist that the poor man-at-arms wear his colours instead. Or the Count could have chosen to show his magnanimity and allowed the man-at-arms to wear his own personal/family arms instead. I don't think there was a clear-cut rule and people would have had to negotiate over it before joining a company or retinue. It might even have been a significant factor in choosing which company/retinue to join.


Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

And it makes it harder for me to picture what that imaginary group of 100 men-at-arms would look like. I also wonder how many man-at-arms would opt to simply paint or engrave a crest/sign on their breastplate, or perhaps wore a sleeveless tabard as shown in early to mid 15th century art. I suppose we'll never really find that out though Sad
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Mark T




PostPosted: Thu 19 Mar, 2015 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Gilded armor and other battlefield pomp?         Reply with quote

Pieter B. wrote:
Again there are a few extant examples of painted armor (most notable a German sallet I believe).


There are quite a few extant examples of painted sallets, mainly of the 'Black' sallets or Große Schallern, and the larger and boxy full-face types (such as the one that Jeffrey Hildebrandt reproduced recently). These might be slightly outside of your time period, though.

Also, the Pastrana Tapestries shows a lot of coloured helmets, mainly red and gold, although I'm not sure if it's known whether these were meant to represent painted helmets or fabric-covered ones.

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Mark T




PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 3:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Pastrana Tapestries also show a lot of sallets with coloured visors, such as this one at the Eglise paroissiale Saint-Pierre-et-Paul:



von PMRMaeyaert (Own work) CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Oberna...uselang=de

Chief Librarian/Curator, Isaac Leibowitz Librarmoury

Schallern sind sehr sexy!
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Pieter B.





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PostPosted: Sat 21 Mar, 2015 5:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The tapestry is quite interesting. A few depictions of brigandines with shoulder protection. Then there is the use of shields by what appear to be fully armored soldiers.

But lets get back to the topic. I do see the colored helmets you are talking about, I'd be tempted to say the red ones appear to be velvet and the blue ones have a reflection which might indicate metal but it is a tapestry so I can't guarantee it or go much beyond this speculation. however I see no colored armor aside from the brigandines. To me it brings to mind the drawing of a man-at-arms by Albrecht Durer which only had the helmet having a color too.
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