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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 12:21 am    Post subject: Are these Swiss armours related?         Reply with quote

I've noticed that several Swiss armours seem to share a similar motif - pauldrons which are formed of many lames, arranged in sort of a radial "spoke" pattern instead of parallel lines. Here are some examples of what I mean.

This armour at the Musée de l'Armée belonged to Monsieur Chevalier Pierre "Sillyface" Bruner, a Swiss knight in service of the French crown:



Then I noticed this armour in our very own museum albums section, at the Castel Sant-Angelo in the Vatican. It is very similar, even looking like it might have been made by the same armourer, and with a similar silly-faced visor, though this one is not an articulated buffe like the first but a close-burgonet type visor with a sneck hook.



And at the Higgins Armoury, this armour is labeled as a composite from Switzerland and Savoy:



Is this a Swiss style or are there other examples of armours with pauldrons like this from other countries?

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Neil Gagel




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 5:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, I like the big honkin' hole that last one has in the abdomen. I can't help but feel that that isn't from "proofing" it... If so, it doesn't speak too highly of the maker.
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Artis Aboltins




PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Gagel wrote:
Wow, I like the big honkin' hole that last one has in the abdomen. I can't help but feel that that isn't from "proofing" it... If so, it doesn't speak too highly of the maker.


Can come from 20th century as well Happy
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Neil Gagel wrote:
Wow, I like the big honkin' hole that last one has in the abdomen. I can't help but feel that that isn't from "proofing" it... If so, it doesn't speak too highly of the maker.


IIRC penetrating armour with something like a spiked halberd or spiked warhammer isn't too hard (unlike with swords...)
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Nathan Quarantillo




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 7:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

on the actual topic of armour styles, I have heard that the spoked pauldron style was also used in France.

and as far as that 3rd picture goes, you have to know your armourer. cause if your armour fails, you've got more than a warranty issue on your hands...... Eek! Eek! Eek!

"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 7:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Cuirassier's breastplates were proofed with a pistol (usually with an underpowered load, too.) And often they were indeed pistol proof on the battlefield. But a musket with a full power load would usually go through it.
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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 8:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But a musket with a full power load would usually go through it.


Where do you get this from? At what kind of range? By which date? What would the trouble of the armorers and the pains of the cuirassers in hauling such weight around be worth if bullets "usually" penetrated the armor? Even though several examples of harnesses existing in such places as the Zeughaus have been penetrated by bullets of some kind, there is no reason to believe all of the damage was done on the battlefield nor that they were ineffective against a "full load of powder." Men on the field did not use half-loads of powder, so if the armor usually didn't work it wouldn't be worth the time of day.

-Gregory

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Allan Senefelder
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 8:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Cuirassier's breastplates were proofed with a pistol (usually with an underpowered load, too.) And often they were indeed pistol proof on the battlefield. But a musket with a full power load would usually go through it.


Faking of proof marks both when crossbow were common and later when hand guns were common was not at all unheard of.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 8:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
Quote:
But a musket with a full power load would usually go through it.


Where do you get this from? At what kind of range? By which date? What would the trouble of the armorers and the pains of the cuirassers in hauling such weight around be worth if bullets "usually" penetrated the armor? Even though several examples of harnesses existing in such places as the Zeughaus have been penetrated by bullets of some kind, there is no reason to believe all of the damage was done on the battlefield nor that they were ineffective against a "full load of powder." Men on the field did not use half-loads of powder, so if the armor usually didn't work it wouldn't be worth the time of day.

-Gregory


There's a really detailed study by David Edge and Tony Atkins where they analyzed the metallurgy of 20 or so 17th century armours that had been "proofed". You can check out the PDF file of it here.They looked at the microstructure of the indentations of the proof marks and I also think they did some tests of their own with historical pistols attempting to recreate the conditions under which the armours would have been proofed and how they would have held up in battle. What they concluded was that many of the armours had been proofed with lower powered loads and at longer ranges than what would have been used in a battle. The proofing seems to have been done with pistols.

There are reports of cuirassiers' armour offering good protection against pistol shot. Arthur Haselrigge, the Parlimentarian general, was shot several times at the Battle of Roundway Down and survived. But the study claims that the amount of force generated by a musket or an arquebus could defeat the armour without much trouble. It claims that the majority of these proof dents were the results of bullets carrying energies of only 75 to 100 Joules; the gunfire that a cuirassier would encounter in battle would typically have ranged from 400 Joules (for a pistol-ball,) to 2,000 Joules (for a musket-ball.)

They were good protection against pistol ball, and against swords and pikes. Once they had broken through the enemy line the fully-armoured shock troopers would have been a formidable force because of their armour. It also could have probably stopped musket balls coming from long range, even a full power load if it had lost some of its energy in flight. (I can only say probably because I wasn't there to witness any of this.)

Quote:
What would the trouble of the armorers and the pains of the cuirassers in hauling such weight around be worth if bullets "usually" penetrated the armor?


There are reports of cuirassiers leaving behind parts of their armour during campaigns because they decided that the protection factor was outweighed by the weight of it. This was especially true towards the middle of the 1600s when muskets were more powerful.

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Last edited by Adam D. Kent-Isaac on Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:10 am; edited 1 time in total
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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Excellent. My main mistake in initiating the challenge was that I misread musket and considered pistols being in question.
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Feb, 2010 8:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

OK, something else I noticed on Vizael's blog: this half-armour, with the same kind of spoked pauldrons:



Detail:



You can see the very same little grotesque face with the ring - almost like a little door knocker - that is present on Monsieur Sillyface's armour, as well as Mr. Gutshot at the Higgins Armoury. Surely this has to be more than just a coincidence?

Was this a Swiss style, or a French style?

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Timo Nieminen




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Feb, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Adam D. Kent-Isaac wrote:

You can see the very same little grotesque face with the ring - almost like a little door knocker


Look like the just the thing for attaching a rope or chain. Where might the other end go?
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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Mon 15 Feb, 2010 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is another one of Tom Hoogerland's great photos of a pauldron from the Higgins:



Description says "probably Switzerland."

I am thinking this has to be a distinctive Swiss style.

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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 6:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Timo Nieminen wrote:
Look like the just the thing for attaching a rope or chain. Where might the other end go?


On the sword? To make sure it's not lost in battle?
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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Thu 18 Feb, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
On the sword? To make sure it's not lost in battle?


Not likely this late in history. The sabers that were used by cuirassiers from horseback during the late-16th century would have been secondary weapons to a number of firearms that they'd have at their disposal, and from horseback if the weapon were attached to a man's body it could be fairly hazardous if it became stuck or pulled away from him, possibly resulting in dismounting.

Personally, I'll bet the rings were there to tie powder and ball loads to. Having a string of them across the chest was common practice later on, such as during the ECW era. Start at the belt and bring the string up across the shoulder, maybe even have another couple on the back for back-up use? I'm sorry I don't know the proper term for what I'm talking about. But I'm sure I've described it well enough that someone who does can probably chime in!

-Gregory

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Adam D. Kent-Isaac




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PostPosted: Sun 21 Feb, 2010 5:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unbelievable...Outfit4Events actually makes a miniature replica of Mr. Sillyface. Of all the obscure armours in the world I can't believe they used this one. I may just have to buy it...


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Ushio Kawana




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jun, 2010 1:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Happy
I see this photo of an armour well.
And I've watched the zoom photo of the part of the chest before.
Letters are carved on the chest of this armour. (part of flamed)

What is written? Question (Is it armour's name? Is it words of the Bible? Is it words of the magic?)
Are there the carved armour other than this armour? Question

Thanks

I'm interested in Medieval Arms and Armor.
But... My English is very poor ><;
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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jun, 2010 4:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

sorry, i can`t read the inscription, do you have a picture with higher definition ?

Quote:
There are reports of cuirassiers' armour offering good protection against pistol shot. Arthur Haselrigge, the Parlimentarian general, was shot several times at the Battle of Roundway Down and survived.

oh yeah, i like this story. if i remember rightly king charles afterwards said something like "he could have endured a seven years siege in this armour, if there was enough space for food inside".

however, i`m astonished, how much energy these antique firearms produced - a modern 9x19 Para produces just ~ 500 J with ~350 m/s and a 7,62x51 Nato ~3000 J with ~ 900 m/s.
I know, its off-topic, but does perhaps someone know, how bows and crossbows did perform ??
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Jean Henri Chandler




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PostPosted: Fri 11 Jun, 2010 8:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From the data I've seen longbows produced only between 80 - 150 Joules, depending on the strength of the bow, but it takes much less energy for an arrow to pierce armor than a bullet, especially with armor-piercing arrows (there is some debate if bodkins were more effective than broadheads since broadheads have done better in testing than the conventional wisdom would dictate).

The strongest modern crossbows (250-300 lb draw) can produce between 150-200 Joules but they are much less powerful than the heaviest Renaissance weapons. There may be some new tests pending soon but so far I can't find any reliable data about something like a 1200 lb draw arbalest.

Also takes about half as much energy for a steel bullet to pierce armor than a lead bullet.

According to Alan Williams (Knight and the Blast Furnace)

1.9 mm 15th Century tempered steel armor takes about 1800 Joules for steel balls to penetrate, about 3000 for lead. Iron armor is about half as effective. 16th Century iron cuirasser armor 4mm thick takes about 2000 J.

An early Hussite firearm produced about 500 - 1000 Joules,

Early Arquebuses only produced about 1300 J at the muzzle, and were generally considered in period to be incapable of piercing good quality armor. Same for pistols of course*.

But a late 16th Century musket using corned powder can produce over 3000 J (more than an Ak-47) so with steel ammo it's more than enough to penetrate even the best quality armor, except possibly the laminated type they were making around the 17th Century. In general though the quality of armor declined gradually from the mid 16th Century onward.

*This didn't mean they weren't effective, because good quality armor couldn't cover every part of a rider and horse, or (especially) a group of riders and horses under concentrated fire.

J

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Gottfried P. Doerler




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PostPosted: Sat 12 Jun, 2010 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

thx, thats very enlightening.
i think i will buy "knight and the blast furnace" myself, although it seems to be not in stock at the moment. (at amazon)
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