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Steven H

Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 10:47 am    Post subject: Linen Gauntlets?         Reply with quote

So we clearly have plate and mail gauntlets and even scale (Wisby gauntlets) , but were gauntlets ever made out of linen/cotton in the manner of a gambeson? Even as just an underlayer for other armors?


Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
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Elling Polden

Location: Bergen, Norway
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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 11:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The cloth armour in the maciowski bible shows gambesons with integrated mittens.
It would be reasonable to belive that integrated mittens in the hauberks of the 12th-14th century where also padded in some fashion.

However, I do not recall seeing independent mittens of this type.

We do however use them extensively as safety equipment, as they are less unhistorical than the alternatives.
(the only independent hand protection I've seen from the 13th c. is the white deer/kidskin gloves worn by noblemen, and used when sword/buckler dueling both in I33 and Codex Manesse)

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
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Richard Fay

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PostPosted: Fri 15 Dec, 2006 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

There is at least one 14th century English effigy shown in drawings in David Nicolle's Arms & Armour of the Crusading Era 1050-1350 Western Europe and the Crusader States that may show padded gauntlets similar to an oven mitt. They might be worn as a supplement to the mufflers, or as a separate defence. These things are hard to interpret, though, so it's open to debate.
This is what Nicolle says about them:
David Nicolle wrote:

Wooden effigy, Norfolk, late 13th, early 14th centuries
...The man has separate gauntlets, though they show no evidence of being strengthened with scales or rigid material. Such early gauntlets may simply have provided padding to protect the fingers and may have been worn over mail...

And here's one with separate fingers:
David Nicolle wrote:

Wooden effigy, Northhamptonshire, c. 1280-90
Separate but unplated gauntlets appear on this effigy...

Note that the last has been damaged and patched, so perhaps the gauntlets were improperly restored. Separate gauntlets are very rare for the 13th century, but not entirely unknown by its end. (Check out what I found for the fingered mail gauntlet thread.)

I hope this helped! Maybe I'll try to find more examples, if they exist, but I'm a bit busy at the moment.

Oh, I almost forgot one interesting example of a gauntlet that's clearly quilted like a gambeson. It shown on the right hand of a Welsh knightly effigy in the parish church in Lianarmon. The knight's right hand is clad in a long-cuffed gauntlet that clearly bears quilting lines just like the gambeson that he wears over his hauberk. Just like the wooden effigy in Norfolk, it might be worn by itself, or over mail mufflers. (A photo of this effigy can be seen in David Nicolle's Poitiers 1356: The Capture of a King.)

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
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