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Mjchael Gillespie




Location: CALIFORNIA
Joined: 26 Oct 2016

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 5:42 pm    Post subject: metal round studs and rivets on leather bracers/arm cuffs         Reply with quote

I have wondered if the round brass and steel round head spots up top 3/4 in wide were actually used on leather arm bracers or cuffs. It is usually on the upper and lower edges of them. I see a lot of it out there especially on Vikings and Medieval arms. And rivets as well on jacks using the two parted speed rivets, as well as those large round spots on leather armor and clothing. Can any one help out on this? I have found little evidence of this in any descriptions. What was used? Or is this purely fantasy or Hollywood?
Macpherson
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Matthew Amt




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

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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 7:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Leather arm cuffs or bracers ARE fantasy, no matter how they are decorated.

Sure, once you hit the 14th century you start to see actual vambraces, worn over mail with the rest of the plates in the harness. And of course archers wore a bracer on the left arm, though those were never studded. But things like that simply don't show up on unarmed men, nor on men who otherwise have little or no armor.

So add all the bling you like, because they are not historical in the first place. Sorry about that!

Certainly jacks/brigandines/coats of plates will have visible rivets, though of course you should steer clear of the screw-together type if possible. Clothing was decorated in a number of ways, and in the Renaissance there were civilian doublets which had rivets or fake studs as if they were plate-lined, when they actually weren't.

Beware! Armor vendor websites and catalogs are FILLED with inaccuracies! Learn your history elsewhere, *before* you go shopping, and save yourself a lot of misery and wasted money!

Matthew
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Mon 07 Nov, 2016 7:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wrist bracers of any kind were very rarely worn throughout history. Ones made from leather and studded with metal were even rarer. You can blame Hollywood for the prevalence of wrist bracers in pop culture.
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Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 6:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, Matthew..........What about the 'lefty' archers? Were there no left-handed archers? WTF?! .........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Well, Matthew..........What about the 'lefty' archers? Were there no left-handed archers? WTF?! .........McM


Okay, sorry, I should have said "BOW arm"... And I honestly don't know if there were left-handed archers.

In any case, the typical archer's bracer doesn't really look like the typical fantasy studded black leather bracer.

Matthew
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

True....any kind of studs or deco would catch the bow string. FWIW...I guess I'm just a one-off.......I'm right handed, but I hold my bow with my left and squint my right eye. I'm a fairly decent shot that way, even if I do say so myself!! Razz Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud ....McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Victor R.




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 8:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Moore wrote:
Well, Matthew..........What about the 'lefty' archers? Were there no left-handed archers? WTF?! .........McM


It would have been rare in medieval and renaissance times - left-handedness was still associated with evil in Western culture, and those that showed a propensity for left-hand use were generally trained to the right. Even my dad, born on a Texas farm in 1942, was trained right by his still-German-speaking parents. Unless you wanted to be considered evil, whether in medieval times, or even as recently as the 20th century to some degree, you avoided being sinister. Cool
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well....I guess I'm just 'sinister' then.....me and my plain leather left armed bracer. Razz Laughing Out Loud Laughing Out Loud ...........McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 9:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Wrist bracers of any kind were very rarely worn throughout history. Ones made from leather and studded with metal were even rarer. You can blame Hollywood for the prevalence of wrist bracers in pop culture.


I definitely agree that leather wrist bracers are very rare, the only surviving example I can think off the top of my head are the 14th c. iron-reinforced bracers from Estonia. On the other hand historical artwork shows what appears to be some kind of cloth wrappings around the forearms being used in conjunction with haubergeons that don't reach all the way to the wrist from before the 11th century to the 14th century and in multiple nations. Later on in the 16th century we have references to fencers wrapping their forearms with strips of cloth or rags which may be a continuation of this practice. There are other images that show what could be interpreted as leather cuffs but without artifacts it's hard to say, could simply be cloth of a different color at the wrist. My working theory for the existence of the wrappings is that the haubergeons weren't tailored as well as later hauberks and mail shirts so they stopped them around the elbow so as not to impede the movements of the arms too much but the sword arm in particular is very vulnerable to being sliced or even amputated and the wrappings provided a little more protection without causing mobility problems.

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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 9:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mike Ruhala wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Wrist bracers of any kind were very rarely worn throughout history. Ones made from leather and studded with metal were even rarer. You can blame Hollywood for the prevalence of wrist bracers in pop culture.


I definitely agree that leather wrist bracers are very rare, the only surviving example I can think off the top of my head are the 14th c. iron-reinforced bracers from Estonia.


Those are normal *armor* pieces, typically worn over mail. Not just strapped on over a manly bare arm for the purpose of sitting in a tavern and looking butch.

Quote:
On the other hand historical artwork shows what appears to be some kind of cloth wrappings around the forearms being used in conjunction with haubergeons that don't reach all the way to the wrist from before the 11th century to the 14th century and in multiple nations.


Sounds like regular tunic sleeves showing between mail and wrist! They always look bunched up or wrinkled.

Matthew

PS: Yes, *right*-handed archers hold the bow in the *left* hand...
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T. Kew




Location: Cambridge, UK
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 10:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Victor R. wrote:
Mark Moore wrote:
Well, Matthew..........What about the 'lefty' archers? Were there no left-handed archers? :wtf: .........McM


It would have been rare in medieval and renaissance times - left-handedness was still associated with evil in Western culture, and those that showed a propensity for left-hand use were generally trained to the right. Even my dad, born on a Texas farm in 1942, was trained right by his still-German-speaking parents. Unless you wanted to be considered evil, whether in medieval times, or even as recently as the 20th century to some degree, you avoided being sinister. :cool:


This is distinctly overstated. Plenty of medieval fencing manuals give advice for both right and left handed fencers, for example.

The Puritan streak of training everyone to right-handedness no matter what isn't widely supported by the evidence. As far as I can tell, its largely an example of something that's back-projected from more recent history (along with average height being vastly lower).

Instructor and scholar, Cambridge HEMA
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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 10:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Amt wrote:

Those are normal *armor* pieces, typically worn over mail. Not just strapped on over a manly bare arm for the purpose of sitting in a tavern and looking butch.


I agree.

Quote:

Sounds like regular tunic sleeves showing between mail and wrist! They always look bunched up or wrinkled.


I've been overlooking the images as just that for literally decades and indeed some images do show exactly what you say, others show something else that has regular structure. Sets of images from the 14th c. that show armor off and on open up the possibility of even worse things than wraps.

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Mike Ruhala




Location: Stuart, Florida
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PostPosted: Tue 08 Nov, 2016 10:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

T. Kew wrote:

This is distinctly overstated. Plenty of medieval fencing manuals give advice for both right and left handed fencers, for example.

The Puritan streak of training everyone to right-handedness no matter what isn't widely supported by the evidence. As far as I can tell, its largely an example of something that's back-projected from more recent history (along with average height being vastly lower).


Indeed. A left handed lead was normal for boxing, knife fighting and staff weapons to include the bayonet. Shield/buckler as well and the cultural connations of a shield are entirely positive and just as noble as the sword.

Historical fencing on Florida's Treasure Coast!
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