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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ian S LaSpina wrote:
The effigies you showed indicated no evidence that there's any maille underneath the vambraces or leg harnesses of those knights. The only indication that there might be maille on the lower arm is that the maille is depicted continuously in the gap on the inside of the elbow. Having a modern reproduction of virtually that same exact style arm harness, I can tell you that vambraces are typically far too fitted to leave any room for maille underneath. Upper cannons yes, lower vambraces, no way.

Same for the legs. Plate cuisses and fully cased greaves were not designed to be worn over maille chausses. Maille chausses would defeat the purpose of making cased greaves so closely fitted like they are in your effigy examples. From practical knowledge of wearing a late 14th century leg harness made, again, to duplicate the style seen in those effigies, I can tell you from experience that there's no way you could comfortably or effectively wear maille underneath. The only effigies I've seen that would indicate maille chausses being worn are like Mr. Easton said, people wearing front greaves only, like in this example with front greaves and what appear to be either gamboised or splinted cuisses:



100% agreement here. And please call me Matt Happy.

Matt

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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 4:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I certainly agree that dating armour based on brasses, effigies and other forms of art can be tricky.

One important thing not to overlook though is that sometimes one individual piece of art shows a variety of defences within itself, and so of course those different defences can be compared, because they are internal to one source.

Here, from around the 1360's-80's, a French manuscript showing plate legs and mail arms:



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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here, from the same source you can see plate arms alongside mail arms, also plated legs alongside un-plated legs:


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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 4:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And again, mail arms alongside plated arms, from the same source:


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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Mar, 2012 6:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt,

That is certainly true. We probably have a degree of personality to armour as these were individual purchases over bought en mass by a government. We see in a few chronicles around the turn of the century to the 14th in France indicating that even within France there were regions that for whatever reason preferred to maintain other norms for military equipment.

That said we cannot be sure in artwork if that man is a knight or simply a man at arms. In Edward III's reign during the 1330s men at arms are not required complete plate limb protection (except gauntlets of iron, which were mandatory) or any mail at all. Though these are basic requirements for a Man at arms not what most wore, only what was the bare minimum to qualify. Since there was a fine system in place for neglect of this it is likely a good place to start for Men at Arms during the 1330s.

Jean Le Bel commends than standards of equipping a man at arms was often less than what it had been for knights only a generation earlier..... though he might simply be embittered as he seems to have run in the 'old boys club' and maybe disliked the idea of non-nobles being men at arms. He seems to be a bit critical of this. He mentions in particular how they are not the same in equipment or character regarding the Scot campaigns of the early 14th.

RPM
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William P




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 2:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

oakeshott also makes a similar observation to randall about effigies, if i remember, i.e that the effigy might be made several years after he died, and might not actually represent when it was made although ui think he makes this comment in reference to swords, i think it maybe applies to armour too

plus theres also the fact many knights would have had slightly older stuff due to hand me downs thanks to being too poor for the new stuff

after all, during the renaissance, some poor Spanish NOBLES, served as rank and file pikemen due to their financial situation so social status of course doesn't man your gonna have the best equipment.
which , like dan suggested, its a matter of teasing out the percentage of the use of particular panoplies

also, whats the general consensus on shield use, in either battle.
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The situation with brasses and effigies is even more complicated that that. Generally there are 3 variables:
1) they were made during the person's lifetime, well before they died (there are know example of this)
2) they were made after the person died, sometimes a generation or two later (there are known example of this)
3) they were made around or just after the time of death, but represented actual equipment worn by the person in life (therefore the armour may actually represent what they wore 10 or 20 years earlier).

Of course it's not like we can't use common sense and cross-referencing. In England at least we have a whole load of brasses and effigies, as well as dated art of the same periods (from manuscripts through to stained glass windows) and dated text sources (such as wills and inventories). So IMO it's not that much of a problem. It's usually not that hard to be able to say with fair certainty that a given brass or effigy does or does not represent armour of the time of death, more or less.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 7:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The De Cobham effigy is an interesting example. It was made long before his death. He died in the early 15th but his effigy is from the 3rd quarter of the 14th. The only reason it was properly dated is that there are existing accounts of the endowment he made to the family church in which he was buried and it includes his effigy.

I tend to look at from a text point of view for dates when I can as they usually have safer dating methods. Then I use the art as a way to get an idea of the design, look and sometimes construction of the armour itself. Just found some pictures of what appear to be plate limb armour from a MS that look to be laced. I'd never had guessed this was done but seems some one at least thought it was done.

Really it is not so much using effigies, just there is so little caution when using them that worries me. I hate to see hard work gone to waste.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Mar, 2012 10:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
The De Cobham effigy is an interesting example. It was made long before his death. He died in the early 15th but his effigy is from the 3rd quarter of the 14th. The only reason it was properly dated is that there are existing accounts of the endowment he made to the family church in which he was buried and it includes his effigy.

I tend to look at from a text point of view for dates when I can as they usually have safer dating methods. Then I use the art as a way to get an idea of the design, look and sometimes construction of the armour itself. Just found some pictures of what appear to be plate limb armour from a MS that look to be laced. I'd never had guessed this was done but seems some one at least thought it was done.

Really it is not so much using effigies, just there is so little caution when using them that worries me. I hate to see hard work gone to waste.

RPM


Having made a couple sets of closed greaves in that style I can assure you that it is a good way to make minute adjustments to a difficult piece of harness to adjust. I suspect it may have been fairly common on munitions quality harness. It most certainly is the way to go on hardened leather greaves. Buckles just don't do the trick.

I concur that textual evidence trumps illumination, textual evidence supports or refutes the accuracy of funerary monuments. Context is everything, as a friend frequently says.
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 12:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

as for 14th century limb armour, one brass, that of sir jon de northwode showcases evidence of limb scale armour. dated C 1330
the brass is located in minster church, isle of sheppy, kent.
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_.../69/large/

it also showcases plate greaves OVER maile and sabatons, plus elbow and shoulder plates
and its hard to tell whats what but it even suggests a solid enclosed heel?

you can tell its likely over maile is that the buckles and straps for the front face of the greave go over the maile leg armour and there is little evidence of the maile simply being a attatched to the back of the plate greave it looks like the maile is passing under the plate,
suggesting he had lower leg armour under the greave which has only a front face

and here is a list of all FRENCH effigies and brasses dated between 1320-1350 which, among the men at arms at least seems the range of technology wed expect at crecy
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/?name...;view=list
though i should point out not all of the results are of knights , or even male

again, knowing how many used shields helops get an idea since a row of shields not only saves you a lot of pain, it will possibly stop arrows that might have whizzed passed you and hit the guy behind you.


asnother interesting thing about these effigies is that alot of their bascinets show evidence of vervales or attatchment points for visors, so it may be that these bascinets are intended to be open faced, as opposed to the hundskulls

like in this effigy of john the IV of montfort, duke of brittany, his effigy is dated 1408
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_iv_of_montfort/
and this page shows images of the effigy on its side.
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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 1:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
The De Cobham effigy is an interesting example. It was made long before his death. He died in the early 15th but his effigy is from the 3rd quarter of the 14th. The only reason it was properly dated is that there are existing accounts of the endowment he made to the family church in which he was buried and it includes his effigy.


Great info Randall - which Cobham are we talking about here (Reginald, died 1403?)? As it happens that Cobham, the place, is just up the road from where I live. I may get along there and try to see what is still around to view.

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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 1:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
it also showcases plate greaves OVER maile and sabatons


That is normal for early-14thC half greaves (where the plate only covers the front of the shin). It is possible that they retained full mail leggings under fully enclosed greaves for a while in the mid-14thC, but by the beginning of the 15thC it seems that generally no mail was worn on the legs at all anymore, sometimes with the exception of a strip at the back of the knee joint. On many 15thC paintings you can see that at the back of the leg, where there are gaps between the plates, they often just have woolen hose and nothing else.

Quote:
asnother interesting thing about these effigies is that alot of their bascinets show evidence of vervales or attatchment points for visors, so it may be that these bascinets are intended to be open faced, as opposed to the hundskulls


The subject of attachment points for visors on English brasses and effigies is much discussed, as they are rarely shown, whereas other forms of art usually do show visors.
In my opinion the lack of visor attachments on English brasses and effigies could be due to three main factors:
1) They didn't have them!
2) The artist didn't want to show them for some reason (just as they do not include lance rests, which we know were used, or details such as the points to tie the aventail down etc)
3) When the visor was removed the pivot point was also, just leaving two small holes either side, which you would not see on a brass or effigy.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt,

It is Sir John de Cobham who died in 1408 but his effigy was made around 1362, which is when the details of the Church additions were written down. The Brass was likely almost 50 years old or so when he died.

Will et all,

The issue with whether they wore full mail under plate is a hard one. Heck anything under something else is impossible to know for certain. The literary evidence I know of always has mail under plate until near the mid 15th. Now since this is the only evidence I have found it is the only system I know was used. That said it is likely some did not. I had for years thought some of the mail parts appearing in inventories were like voiders and gussets for use under full or more full harness but the more I dug I started seeing this more as economy armour for poorer men at arms and commoners, some of them bought in vast quantities by people to arm their retinues of infantry and such.

As to whether it could penetrate through all this. I think it possible but not in high volumes. This is why I am so suspect that every one thinks early period armour was weaker than full white harness. I think both did their job fairly well but were not impermeable, just most of the time.

RPM
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 5:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

those were french effigies and brasses but yeah i figured that they didnt show visors mostly so that you could see the mans face but i thoought there was much more solid attatchments that allowed attatchment of the visor, i just figure the effigy helmes arnt visored ones, but ones that are meant to be openn faced.
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Jojo Zerach




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 9:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:
William P wrote:
it also showcases plate greaves OVER maile and sabatons


That is normal for early-14thC half greaves (where the plate only covers the front of the shin). It is possible that they retained full mail leggings under fully enclosed greaves for a while in the mid-14thC, but by the beginning of the 15thC it seems that generally no mail was worn on the legs at all anymore, sometimes with the exception of a strip at the back of the knee joint. On many 15thC paintings you can see that at the back of the leg, where there are gaps between the plates, they often just have woolen hose and nothing else.

Quote:
asnother interesting thing about these effigies is that alot of their bascinets show evidence of vervales or attatchment points for visors, so it may be that these bascinets are intended to be open faced, as opposed to the hundskulls


The subject of attachment points for visors on English brasses and effigies is much discussed, as they are rarely shown, whereas other forms of art usually do show visors.
In my opinion the lack of visor attachments on English brasses and effigies could be due to three main factors:
1) They didn't have them!
2) The artist didn't want to show them for some reason (just as they do not include lance rests, which we know were used, or details such as the points to tie the aventail down etc)
3) When the visor was removed the pivot point was also, just leaving two small holes either side, which you would not see on a brass or effigy.


Since the effigy is supposed to represent a person, you'd want the face visible.
My guess is that artists of English effigies usually didn't bother to depict visors or their mounts for this reason.
There are exceptions, though.
This one seems to have the mounts shown on his bascinet
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/willi...110/large/

While this one actually shows a raised (though badly damaged) visor.
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_blanchefront/
(This effigy also supports the idea of patches of mail being worn inside the elbow. If you look closely, there's mail visible in the elbow gap, but he doesn't seen to be wearing a haubergeon.)
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Mar, 2012 3:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel,

do you have any pictures? I am very curious how they work.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Mar, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Kel,

do you have any pictures? I am very curious how they work.

RPM


A number of mid 14thC effigies show laces up the inside of greaves and occasionally cuisses. I had a commission to make such, although the client insisted I use these honking huge rein buckles and loops on them.



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Matt Easton




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
Since the effigy is supposed to represent a person, you'd want the face visible.


Hi Jojo, I think you misunderstood me. Any nationality example will show the face, but French and German effigies and brasses, for example, often show a raised visor or the attachment points for the visor. English examples in contrast almost never do - the two examples you found, and that of the Hastings Brass, are rare exceptions.

This leaves the question as to why - my 3 possible reasons above are responses to that question. A fair number of academics have concluded that English bascinets often were not fitted with visors at all.

Regards,
Matt

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar, 2012 5:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt,

That might be but the artwork aside from effigies from England often shows visors on bascinets. As well we have a fair amount of evidence in text for visor use among English knights and men at arms. I find it highly unlikely that visors were not a fairly common part of knightly armour as missile weapons were becoming popular on all sides during the late medieval period. Combined with their prevalence in accounts and other artwork seems unlikely. I think the effigies need to show a face and hinges and such are details that could be deemed unneeded or not as a number of other things that were omitted.


Kel,

Thos look really good. I had wondered if something of that nature might not be more common than it looked.

RPM
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Jojo Zerach




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PostPosted: Wed 28 Mar, 2012 9:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton wrote:
Jojo Zerach wrote:
Since the effigy is supposed to represent a person, you'd want the face visible.


Hi Jojo, I think you misunderstood me. Any nationality example will show the face, but French and German effigies and brasses, for example, often show a raised visor or the attachment points for the visor. English examples in contrast almost never do - the two examples you found, and that of the Hastings Brass, are rare exceptions.

This leaves the question as to why - my 3 possible reasons above are responses to that question. A fair number of academics have concluded that English bascinets often were not fitted with visors at all.

Regards,
Matt


It's probable that the sculptors simply didn't bother to depict the visor or it's mount. The same way they didn't show buckles, hinges and rivets. Some effigies show these elements, but a lot don't.
As you mentioned with lance rests. (I'm only aware of 1 English effigy from the 14th century showing a lance rest, but they were probably commonplace.)
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