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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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

Posts: 261

PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Mail Coifs: when they start to appear?         Reply with quote

I've been reviewing the BBC's "The Last Kingdom" and I noticed a certain numbers of coifs in highlights at the very first chapter. Not only the coifs, but I also saw gambersons (which I thought they would only emerge later).

Anyway, I would like to know when the mail coifs began to emerge? We can say that they had similar efficiency to any other piece of mail armour? It was common for the more wealthier soldiers, which still couldn't pay a hauberk, at least afford a mail coif? Or those who wear coifs necessarily already had hauberks?

To put it another way: coifs were less common than mail? which would means that they were made necessarily to accompany hauberks? Or could be cases of soldiers (such as the eleventh century's serjeants) that would buy coifs to protect themlselves, as if the mail hood had a more independent production?
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Thu 17 Mar, 2016 5:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will just toss out quite likely 11th century as the one where I believe I see NW European style full head covering (maybe no face flap) mail coifs go from rare if not practically non-extant to shown in mass. Look at numerous Bayeux tapestry panels (unveiled 1077) showing lines of combatants with nasal helm and some form of head armor covering, generally accepted here is meant to depict mail. In art earlier to 11th century providence , it is much harder to find this.

"Start to appear" is going to be very tough to prove. I would not disbelieve it if one of the qualified posters here such as Dan Howard gave us a very early cataphract example or something resembling a partial coif or neck protector.

We can certainly see museum helms with veils or neck protectors asserted as dating from long before 11th century. https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spangenhelm#/media/File:Cologne,_Cathedral_treasury06.jpg

Anyhow, I will enjoy learning from those who correct me, and seeing all of the other ideas your post generates. Good luck.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Michael Kelly





Joined: 22 Sep 2015

Posts: 57

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2016 12:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not to change the topic but while there is a lot stylistically to criticize 'The Last Kingdom' for, it was nice to see all the chain mail be actual chain mail and not knitting spray painted silver.
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Dan Howard




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

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PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2016 3:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure that mail coifs were used by Sasannids.
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2016 3:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The history of mail in the movies is a dissertation all of its own...

Most of the sprayed stuff is actually electroplated, I know, still don mine every now and again. I often get paid more to wear that than don a fabulously accurate harness and joust for real. Such is the glamorous life of the historical interpreter!

Its often down to what armouring company gets the contract to do the production, then what the production/costume designer chooses out of that stock.

Which is why I always tell people to ignore tv and film as history wasn't designed= and often had reasons for existing totally unrelated to the principle reason for productions, entertainment.

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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Mark Griffin




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

Posts: 801

PostPosted: Fri 18 Mar, 2016 3:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting to see your comment Dan. Not that there will be much movement from there to early med Europe, but that's something I didn't know. have learnt something, i can go back to bed now :-)
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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