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Nathan Beal





Joined: 02 Apr 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Mar, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sander Marechal wrote:
@Nathan: Good tips on the coif, thanks. I was indeed hoping to hide the exact length of the haubergeon under the surcoat. I didn't give thought to the split though. Is it uncommon to have a split in a mid to late 14th century haubergeon?

Also, any idea what they used as hand defense when the mail was not full sleeves? Separate mail gloves? Or just leather gloves? The Morgan bible plates only show bare hands but I really need some kind of hand protection when sparring in rebated steel.


To the best of my knowledge (C14th not my period) split mail has dropped out of favor by this period (mail tending to be above the knee due to the availability of hard leg armour).

If the mail did not extend to the hand then as far as I can tell nothing would have been worn. So...
a) You could go for a full mail sleeve with mitten enclosed that is secured above the elbow, if you tie the hauberk sleeve below the elbow (with a little blousing to aim movement) you might achieve a similar look to period.
b) Or wear leather backed gloves and accept they are period innapropriate and take them off when not figthing.

As to dimensions and whatnot, main combined source i'm aware of is in D Tweedle's The Anglian Helmet form Coppergate (reproduced here ... http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/resources/aut.../index.htm).

HTH
N.

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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 12:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Beal wrote:
As to dimensions and whatnot, main combined source i'm aware of is in D Tweedle's The Anglian Helmet form Coppergate (reproduced here ... http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/resources/aut.../index.htm).


That's a great resource Nathan. A little early for the period I'm looking into but very interesting nonetheless. There's at least one piece in that list that is dated later (1000 AD).

@Thom R: Thanks for the pointing tips.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
We need a maille expert here to tell us what is known and what we just don't know about maille sizes and the making of maille from wire to finished product.


Yes, but I guess not too much is known. Else this information would have been included in Dan's otherwise great Mail: Unchained feature.
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Sander Marechal




Location: The Netherlands
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 1:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found a stack of interesting articles on Eric D.S's site: http://www.themailresearchsociety.erikds.com/...icles.html

I haven't read them all yet, but the articles I did read indicate ring sizes all over the place. From 12mm to 5mm outer diameter. It varies a lot. So I think I'll be fine with 8mm inner diameter rings.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 3:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Sander Marechal wrote:

Do you happen to know of any sources of historic ring sizes? The Mail: Unchained article is surprisingly sparse on details. I looked up some of the pieces posted in that article on the website of the Cleveland Museum of Art. They list the diameter for some of the pieces as 11mm. The Met doesn't list ring diameters that I could find.


Since there was little standardization in manufacture I would also think that one would find every ring size that had practical uses as opposed to finding exact sizes matching modern made maille: Each maker of wire would have his own unique gauge of wire ? But I'm just guessing here, it quite possible that the makers of wire guilds of some major armour making centres had some sort of " standard " about gauge of wire and/or quality of materials ?


Jean is right. The article is sparse on details because it is impossible to categorise mail based on link size. You can find a great variety in all cultures (except in instances where we only have one or two surviving examples). All you can do is pick an extant example and make a reconstruction based on that selection. If you want 8mm ID rings then you need to find a museum example that dates to the period and culture that you want. Otherwise you may as well just buy the cheapest riveted mail you can find since it won't be historically accurate anyway.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 7:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that Dan makes a good point about historical accuracy and trying to buy mass produced versions that are even close to period maille ...... " Any Period " is futile.

Well that is unless one has unlimited funds and unlimited patience to have it made by the only maker working to the closets level of accuracy possible !

I would just concentrate on the " looks good at 10 feet rule " and if it's basically well made for what it is.

I guess peoples desire for true " authenticity " varies a great deal: I don't care too much since I'm very happy with my stainless welded mail using rather small diameter rings. Wink I would prefer the same with thicker gauge wire for greater strength but with very small diameters even a light wire has proportionally more strength than very large rings with " proportionally " lighter wire even if in absolute terms the wire is thicker.

I haven't tested this maille to find out how protective or resistant to damage or penetration, but I assume that it's reasonably good against cuts. No idea about resisting thrusts ? Light knife thrusts probably, sword or spear thrusts no idea. Being welded I assume great strength proportional to wire gauge and ring size assuming that the quality control of the welding is good.

Finer versions of this maille is used for shark suits so it must at least be very cut or draw cut resistant, wearablility is great as it doesn't weight more than 8 pounds.

Anyway, to get back to " THE POINT " if authentic maille is mostly a futile goal then prioritize looks and quality control.

The general question is how historically correct is historically correct enough: I think we have to keep in mind that no matter what we do, we are living in 2010 and not 1020 and how fussy one wants to get about authenticity one will always have to accept some compromises. For some the " game " is to get as close as possible to the goal, others like me just want to experience a " close enough " approximation to the look or feel of the real thing to learn other things about wearing/using arms and armour.

I could go on and on about all the other reasons one collects anything that one finds fascinating and aesthetically and emotionally pleasing: Passions/curiosity need no reasons or excuses, they are what make life worth living.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 8:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:

Otherwise you may as well just buy the cheapest riveted mail you can find since it won't be historically accurate anyway.


I don't quite agree with that. That's a bit like saying if we can't afford an Albion Museum Line sword or commission a custom piece from C. Fletcher then we should just buy the cheapest Windlass we can find.

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Anyway, to get back to " THE POINT " if authentic maille is mostly a futile goal then prioritize looks and quality control.


As for looks, I came across a great old thread on mail through Google. It has a lot of links and examples on how to tailor mail to make it fit properly. Sounds like a plan. Buy a standard hauberk plus a bag of rings and rivets and tailor it to fit me.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 1:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
I guess peoples desire for true " authenticity " varies a great deal: I don't care too much since I'm very happy with my stainless welded mail using rather small diameter rings. Wink I would prefer the same with thicker gauge wire for greater strength but with very small diameters even a light wire has proportionally more strength than very large rings with " proportionally " lighter wire even if in absolute terms the wire is thicker.

If I was wearing it for simulated combat then I'd be happy with this as well. I'd use as many modern techniques as possible to make it as strong as possible. If I wanted something that looked a little like historical mail then the Indian stuff would be fine. If I was in a play or movie then black PVC costume mail would be fine. If I wanted a replica of a museum example then I'd get Erik to make it (probably from modern steel). If I wanted to see how historical mail would react against historical weapons then I'd ge Erik to make it from period-correct bloomery iron.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My priorities are mixed. It should be safe enough for rebated steel sparring and WMA activities, look realistic enough for re-enactment and be affordable. Note that the sparring isn't full-speed or full-strength. When I go into that sort of sparring I'll be wearing plate over the mail Happy
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Ben Mudd





Joined: 23 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Wed 17 Mar, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Don't know of any source for high medieval, but here's an article of just the sort you were asking about for Viking age mail:

http://www.vikingsonline.org.uk/resources/aut.../index.htm

Note that the diameters listed are generally average diameter, ie, the average of the inner and outer diameter. Not how I would have chosen to do it, I've always found internal diameter to be the most useful measurement to give, but I didn't write the article.

For the earlier period kit you were looking for (Hospitaller, was it?) round section rings are definitely the better choice, and alternating round-ring/pin rivet with solid punched rings are best for that time frame. I'll admit that I'm not 100% sure when flat-ring/wedge rivet mail came into use, but I am fairly confident that it's after your earlier time frame. Since it is now fairly widely accepted that mail shirts were often passed down for multiple generations and continued in use until they were simply too deteriorated to be worth anything, so I'd say that round sectioned links are far more likely to be correct in both periods than flat sectioned links are.

I personally wear a haubergeon of Icefalcon's 6mm mail, rings alternating round/pin riveted and flat punched, and use the same mail for early 7th century, mid 9th century and mid 14th century. True museum quality? No, of course not . . . but it's a hell of a lot closer than the old 9.5 mm crappy galvanized riveted mail I had from someone else. It seems to me that Dan tends to throw the baby out with the bathwater a bit . . . the fact that you can't be PERFECT doesn't mean you shouldn't try to be BETTER, in my opinion at least.
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Gregory J. Liebau




Location: Dinuba, CA
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PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar, 2010 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
I don't quite agree with that. That's a bit like saying if we can't afford an Albion Museum Line sword or commission a custom piece from C. Fletcher then we should just buy the cheapest Windlass we can find.


Bingo. Stick to that analogy. Buy the best you CAN afford!

As for your mail dilemma, I'll chime in and say firstly that you should have full-length sleeves, for sure. If you want to be a knight Hospitaller from the era that you're interested in, a full hauberk is a must. For the 14th century, the further in you go the less likely it is that you'll see full hauberks, but they were certainly still in use - especially in some parts of Europe. In Italy, it remained fashionable to wear a full hauberk under floating or articulated plate until the development of Milanese harnesses, for example.

Also, it's a cool thing to have a full hauberk under your plate (be it partial floating or full-articulated) because not many people do it. You'll have more armor than everyone else!

-Gregory

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