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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 8:30 pm    Post subject: Locking Gauntlets         Reply with quote

Shown here is a so-called "Locking Gauntlet" located in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Click photo for larger version

Gauntlet: Rogers Fund, 19.131.1m, Metropolitan Museum of Art
Sword: Gift of William II. Riggs, 14.25.1165, Metropolitan Museum of Art


This is what is said of it by Helmut Nickel:

The locking gauntlet was a steel mitten with an extended fingerplate that could be secured by hook and eye-peg against the cuff, in order to prevent the sword from being wrenched from the grip of the knight’s hand. This type of gauntlet was occasionally vetoed for use in tournaments, and therefore it is sometimes romantically called the “forbidden gauntlet.” The one illustrated here belongs to a suit of armour dated 1527 that was made for a French ambassador, the Vicomte de Turenne, by the Royal Court Workshop of Henry VIII in Greenwich. It is the earliest firmly dated one of its kind.

1: I'd like to see some other examples of these locking gauntlets

2: What can be said of the term "forbidden gauntlet?"

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Alex Oster




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 10:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There seems to be a lot of hook & clasp's going on on that one. I'd love to see the opposite side. The description conjurs an idea of a metal retention system, but the image shows leather going over the crossguard?
As for the romantic term... My input would lead us down the wrong path for this forum Eek!

The pen is mightier than the sword, especially since it can get past security and be stabbed it into a jugular.
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 10:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't remember the name of the Knight / Mercenary Captain late 15th to early 16th I think who lost a hand and an armourer made an artificial hand for him: The only relevance to this thread is that the same design skills that made this kind of locking gauntlet possible would have been used to make this Knight's artificial hand that could hold a sword.

I think the hand was lost to a canon ball and the Knight was German, he also lived to an advanced old age and was still fighting in the field in his 70 to 80 years of age.

A Knight with nerve damage who might not normally be able to hold a sword might also have been able to use something like this.

As to " forbidden " it might be considered an unfair advantage as disarming might be impossible to extremely difficult, might be able to hit harder ? Might also be " forbidden " as the wearers in a duel might not be able to surrender and have to fight to the death. ( More, " romantic " guesswork than anything based on some primary source. )

Or " forbidden " maybe a bad translation as " forbidding " from French: TERRIBLE: Causes terror, violent, " coup terrible " an incredibly powerful blow. So, terrible, in the synonym becoming formidable in French or forbidding in English to badly translated to forbidden: As the too terrifying become forbidden also. ( Lots of French and English words being the same with the same meaning and sometimes being the same with changed meanings, )

Just speculation that may be all wrong

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George Hill




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 11:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I don't remember the name of the Knight / Mercenary Captain late 15th to early 16th I think who lost a hand and an armourer made an artificial hand for him: The only relevance to this thread is that the same design skills that made this kind of locking gauntlet possible would have been used to make this Knight's artificial hand that could hold a sword.


Gotz Von Berchlingen who lost his hand in 1504. Also known as "Gotz of the iron hand" It was refernced in Oakshott's "A knight and his weapons" on page 106-107. Contenued fighting until his death in 1562 at the age of 82.

The 'iron hand' is not however depicted in the book. (Alas!)

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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sun 25 Jun, 2006 11:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Although the locking gauntlets may have an appearance of a prosthetic hand, they are assuredly created to hold a real hand in them, albeit with a death grip. See This Topic for further information on prosthetic hands and Götz von Berlich.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 26 Jun, 2006 6:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I read somewhere that these types of gauntlets were forbidden in tournaments because they made it nearly impossible to disarm the wearer.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar, 2011 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Earlier this week, I was reading about the subject of locking gauntlets and was going to post about them. Instead, I did a search and found my own topic here from years ago.

Does anyone have additional examples of locking gauntlets?

Thanks

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PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar, 2011 8:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does anyone else see wearing a locking gauntlet as a potential liability? That sword makes a great lever arm for the torque wrench it's just formed with your locked in wrist as a pivot point. If someone could control your sword, I'm willing to bet the bones and connective tissue in your wrist might object to the perceived benefit of not being able to be disarmed. Disarmed... that actually might be exactly what you get, haha...
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Last edited by Ian S LaSpina on Sat 26 Mar, 2011 6:22 am; edited 1 time in total
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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar, 2011 9:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Met appears to have a collection of locking gauntlets. The one you show is from Greenwich, made for Vicomte de
Turenn, as the Bulletin has in 1974, or Sieur Jacques Gourdon de Genouilhac as it has in 1919 (AFAIK, the same person).

Bashford Dean's 1919 paper describing the armour (B. Dean, "Gilded and Engraved Armor for Man and Horse", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 14(10) 209-215 (1919)) says that this gauntlet (and a bridle gauntlet as well) are extra pieces. Specialised tournament armour. It's a large armour for a large man, approaching 60 years in age according to Dean.

There's another Met gauntlet described in S. V. Grancsay, "A Hapsburg Locking Gauntlet", The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32(8), 188-191 (1937) [see attached pic].

Stone shows this Hapsburg gauntlet as well, side view of the thumb side (there's an entry for "locking gauntlet", which says the same in substance as the text with the colour picture you gave).



 Attachment: 160.54 KB
hapsburg.png
Hapsburg locking gauntlet, Grancsay, MMAB 32, 188-191 (1937)

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Last edited by Timo Nieminen on Sat 26 Mar, 2011 3:01 am; edited 1 time in total
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Blaine Hall





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PostPosted: Fri 25 Mar, 2011 11:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I may not know much, but I lurk here a lot. From what it looks like, that gauntlet has the sword locked in a "hammer" grip where point control would be poor. Now for dealing with enemies in plate harness - where accurate thrusting is a necessity, wouldn't that be a liability?

Of course, I am just a wargamer who listens to these conversations to get the historian's and martial artist's insight. So please be gentle in correcting me.
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Mikko Kuusirati




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PostPosted: Sat 26 Mar, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Blaine Hall wrote:
I may not know much, but I lurk here a lot. From what it looks like, that gauntlet has the sword locked in a "hammer" grip where point control would be poor. Now for dealing with enemies in plate harness - where accurate thrusting is a necessity, wouldn't that be a liability?

Of course, I am just a wargamer who listens to these conversations to get the historian's and martial artist's insight. So please be gentle in correcting me.

I may be wrong, but I'd expect there's enough room inside the locked gauntlet for your hand and fingers to move and manipulate the sword properly. About as much room as inside any regular mitten gauntlet, in fact.

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