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Matt Broidy




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2016 3:58 am    Post subject: appropriate armor to match an Italian bill?         Reply with quote

Hello all, my name is Matt and I'm new to the world of historical European melee weapons and armor. My experience lies more in firearms both modern and antique. However, I have long been fascinated with European pole arms which brings me here.

I'm looking to order a Italian bill of semi-custom design from Arms & Armor and I'm curious what types of armor would have been worn both on the battlefield and In duels using such a weapon. My limited search abilities yielded very little on 16th century Italian armor, only finding what would probably be fitting a lord or king.

can you please provide some examples or drawings of armor a early 16th C Italian man-at-arms would have worn to match his bill?

thank you
-Matt
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Michael Parker




Location: United States
Joined: 21 Sep 2011
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2016 6:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Italian Frescoes, cassoni (wedding chests), spalliere (painted wall panels), and manuscripts are a good place to start. I'm less expert than most, but just about all billmen are depicted wearing at least an open-faced steel helmet. For the fifteenth century an Italian sallet or perhaps a barbute would be most typical. Some of them carry round shields strapped to the arm and use their weapon like a spear, while others use it two-handed in the typical fashion. Not all of them have body armor; some of them are just in hose and doublet, but others at least have a brigandine, breastplate, or mail shirt.

Paolo Uccello, Battle of Greeks and Amazons before the Walls of Troy, ca. 1460, featuring billmen
http://artgallery.yale.edu/collections/objects/6082

Domenico, Sellaio and Antonio, Morelli-Nerli Cassone, 1472
http://courtauld.ac.uk/gallery/collection/dec...ing-chests

Italian sallets ca. 1470-80 at Metropolitan Museum
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/25390
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/25391

Attributed to Pietro Giacomo da Castello, Sallet, ca. 1510-20
http://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/22136

The dating of the armor depends on what kind of original you want to base your custom bill on. The one they sell off the rack is based on an original in the Wallace Collection ca. 1515.

A brigandine would look something like this.
http://www.reliquary.co.uk/brig/image/image2/IMG_0309.jpg

"This is a sharp medicine, but it is a physician for all diseases and miseries."
-Sir Walter Raleigh, upon being allowed to see the ax that would behead him, 29 October 1618
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James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 525

PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2016 12:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This billman from Uccello's 'Route of San Romano' (London) shows how complete their armour could be, though, curiously, he has no gauntlets and no gorget. I think it depended on the depths of their purses and personal preference.


 Attachment: 67.65 KB
San_Romano_Battle_(Paolo_Uccello Billman.jpg


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Matt Broidy




Location: WA, USA
Joined: 12 Apr 2016

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Fri 15 Apr, 2016 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

my bill will be based off examples in the Wallace collection and would be dated to the early 1500s. i guess my problem at the moment is im finding more info on 15th C armor then i am 16th C armor.

at some point id like to buy or have made a suit of functional armor to match the bill.

thank you
-matt
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