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Douglas Hutchinson




Location: very Northern California
Joined: 16 Dec 2006

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 12:54 am    Post subject: authentisity of open necked coifs.         Reply with quote

hello. I am new to this forum, but have been a full time maille smith for 8 years.

recently, I was discussing the types of coifs that I offer, and one of the people in the discussion said that there were no authentic midievil coifs with open necks. I am sure I have seen references to them, but I cant find them in any of my research data. I lost most of my data when my computer hard drive crashed last year, and have been trying to rebuild every since.

from the quality of research I have seen in the discusions I have read here, I thought I could find my answers here.
thanks in advance.

courage is not the absence of fear, but the mastery of it.
De Opresso Libre
Sua Sponte
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Nick Trueman





Joined: 27 Mar 2006

Posts: 246

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 4:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi

I can not verify the authenticity of the style of coif? or aventail shown in this pic. Late rus warriors, the one with the open coif/aventail is wearing a byzantine style helmet (the original helmet from memory has no holes to house a aventail).
This is a artists impression, could be completely wrong.

hope it helps, or gives direction.

Nick



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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Reading list: 256 books

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PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

Douglas,

There are a few images of open-neck coifs or aventails in the Manesse Codex (early to mid 14th century). One of these images appears in a b & w photo in Christopher Gravett's German Medieval Armies 1300-1500. Since they are worn with early bascinets, they might be an early form of aventail attached to the helmet rim. The coifs or aventails hang around the side of the head like a curtain, and then the throat appears to be defended by the collar of the hauberk. (A b & w reproduction of the brass of Ameling von Varendorp, on the facing page of the same source, clearly shows the collar of the hauberk. The knight in this brass is bare-headed.)

I might dig around for more later, but I'm really busy with holiday activities this weekend.

Here's the link to on-line images of the Manesse Codex, in case you want to check it out yourself:

http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/cpg848

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
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Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 11:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Images of Rus warriors in secondary sources show open-necked coifs everywhere, usually pinned just under the chin and the two ends left dangling upon the chest--not even fastened like the illustration above. I'm not so sure about the primary sources, though.
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Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
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PostPosted: Sat 16 Dec, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The friezes at the Claverly (Hereford England ~ 1200 A.D.) church are tough to interpret due to their condition. They seem to depict a mixture of open face helms, and Maciejowski style helmets. They are interesting and unusual as a relatively realistics, non-tapestry depiction of knights from very close to the 12th century.

http://www.paintedchurch.org/jousclav.htm

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 7:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is one that opens and laces at the back that still exists in the Nat. Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh if that helps.

RPM
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
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PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 10:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello all!

There is an interesting knightly effigy in England that shows how ambiguous the depictions of "open neck" mail coifs may be. It's the effigy of the knight forester in Pershore Abbey, Worcestershire, of circa 1270-90. It's rather famous for it's depiction of a cuirie or early coat-of-plates. The knight forester wears a coif that's open at the throat. It either depicts an open ventail (Christopher Gravett's interpretation) or a coif that hangs loose around the neck (David Nicolle's interpretation). Gravett states that the ventail hangs to the left side, while Nicolle states that there is no ventail visible. It's not clear from either Nicolle's drawings in Arms & Armour of the Crusading Era 1050-1350 Western Europe and the Crusader States or the two photos in Gravett's English Medieval Knight 1200-1300 which is more likely. It is clear from the photos that the collar of the gambeson protects the throat.

This effigy could be a case where an open ventail makes the coif appear to be open at the throat. It all depends on which author is more correct. I will have to see what other information I can find.

Stay safe!

"I'm going to do what the warriors of old did! I'm going to recite poetry!"
Prince Andrew of Armar
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Richard Fay




Location: Upstate New York
Joined: 29 Sep 2006
Reading list: 256 books

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Posts: 782

PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 12:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again!

A few hauberks of the 11th and 12th centuries may have had integral coifs open at the throats, lacking a ventail. A couple figures from The Atlantic Bible, southern France, late 11th century, have integral coifs without ventails across the face or hanging loose across the chest. Some figures from the late 11th-early 12th century Castilian Beatus Commentaries on the Apocalypse, written for the Monastery of Santo Domingo de Silas, have integral coifs open at the throat with no ventail. One figure from the mid 12th century Austrian Antiphony has what appears to be an integral coif open at the throat. No ventail is visible.

It also seems that early aventails could rarely be open at the throat, as seen in a few figures in the Manesse Codex. One of the early 14th century carved capitals in Venice shows a warrior's head. His aventail appears to be open at the throat, hanging loosely around the rim of the helmet. Soldiers shown in the 14th or 15th century wall painting of the "Way of the Cross" in Cyprus shows helmets with hanging aventails open at the throat. David Nicolle states that this is in the manner of Turkish or Islamic helmets.

(All from Nicolle's Arms & Armour of the Crusading Era 1050--1350 Western Europe and the Crusader States, but the "guard playing the viol" from The Atlantic Bible can be seen in a photo in Nicolle's French Medieval Armies 1000-1300, and a warrior from the Castilian Apocalypse can be seen in a photo in Raymond Rudorff's Knights and the Age of Chivalry. In the colour photo, the aventail is red, so it may be cloth, not mail.)

I hope this was of interest!

Stay safe!

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