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Conrad Lauf




Location: Australia
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue 09 Oct, 2018 4:38 pm    Post subject: Defining characteristics of southern German 15thC armour?         Reply with quote

Hi folks! Long-time lurker, first-time poster here Big Grin

The thread subject pretty much sums up my query - I'm curious as to what the defining aesthetic characteristics of southern German armour were (specifically from 1460-1480, if possible), as I've read it's quite distinctive and different from general German gothic stylings, but my Google-fu seems to be failing me and isn't bringing up much in the way of extant examples/visual results.
(From what I can gather, it's almost like a hybrid of gothic and milanese design elements?)

Cheers in advance! Big Grin
Conrad
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William Knight




Location: Mid atlantic, US
Joined: 02 Oct 2005

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Thu 11 Oct, 2018 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The simple explanation is that most of what we think of as German Gothic armour is south or central German! Particularly surviving harnesses. Augsburg, Landshut and Nuremburg were all in the same general stylistic family (not that there were no differences, or eccentricities of style by certain masters), and the harnesses made in these places do a lot to define 'gothic' in our minds, together with armour depicted in mostly south german artwork. So many of the stylistic features we think of as 'gothic' apply more to south German armours than say, armours made in Lubeck or other Hanseatic cities, which have their own style.

Keep in mind, though that the 'gothic' style develops fairly quickly and a lot of what we think of as 'gothic' isn't present in the same form in 1460 as in 1480.

Now, if you go even further south into the more alpine German states (so, outside of the borders of modern Germany - Switzerland and Austria and South Tirol) you see more stylistic influence by the Italians, particular in Innsbruck. Many innsbruck armours have a much more 'smooth' and severe look to them - eschewing the more extravagant flutes or file-work or applied borders you see in say, Augsburg. Indeed, it is possible that a number of Innsbruck armourers were -from- Italy - Treytz may be a Germanized Italian name! That said, the general silhouette follows the German fashion - in the 'classic' gothic period after 1470 this is slender nearly everywhere, with a nipped waist and a short hem line on the fauld.

Turning to the Swiss Chronicles, you also see much simpler armours, though to a certain extent that may be the medium. But in general they do show a blend of styles. However, this may also reflect exported Italian armours 'Alla Tedesca' that were made for export to German-speaking lands (which would also be present in less alpine German states - see the famous Schwabisch Gmund armour for a famous example).
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Conrad Lauf




Location: Australia
Joined: 15 Jul 2015

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun 14 Oct, 2018 8:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks greatly for the detailed explanation, William! Really appreciate it Big Grin

Cheers,
Conrad
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