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Pete Vanderzwet




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 4:09 pm    Post subject: Historically accurate chainmail - impossible to find?         Reply with quote

I'm looking for historically accurate 12th century European chainmail, but it seems the only thing widely available is the butted Indian crap. I know Erik Schmidt used to produce some excellent stuff, but I don't think he's doing it any longer.

Does anyone know where I can buy some high quality chainmail that at least looks historically authentic?

Thanks.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

AFAIK Erik still produces mail commercially. But you might have to wait.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 4:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Historically accurate chainmail - impossible to find?         Reply with quote

Pete Vanderzwet wrote:
it seems the only thing widely available is the butted Indian crap.


Riveted maille is widely available. Both as round/flat rings with round rivets (often marketed as Roman mail) and flat ring with round or wedge shaped rivets. It's not anywhere near Erik's mail of course, but it's a lot more affordable and much, much better than butted maille. Go take a look at Get Dressed for Battle, Battle Merchant, Cap-a-pie or Icefalcon.
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Pete Vanderzwet




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 5:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the quick replies. Icefalcon's top quality mail looks decent, but for the 12th century I'm looking for an attached coif with an accurate ventail; something I've only seen Erik do properly. Hopefully I'm not aware of other vendors that sell this, and someone can point me in the right direction. I'm worried I might be forced to make my own, and I don't have a lot of confidence in my tailoring abilities, lol.
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 7:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well i you have $20,000 or so laying around why not go with Erick?!? Wink
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JE Sarge




PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd go with a GDFB flat ring, wedge riveted hauberk, coif, and mittens, then get their riveting tool with a few packages of loose rings and work up my own. It would be cost effective and the resulting work would be reasonably accurate. Alot time and money invested that route....
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 10:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The OP asked for "historically accurate" mail. Erik's is the only one that goes close to that description. If you only want riveted mail then there are tons of suppliers, but don't pretend that they have anything in common with museum examples.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The OP asked for "historically accurate" mail. Erik's is the only one that goes close to that description. If you only want riveted mail then there are tons of suppliers, but don't pretend that they have anything in common with museum examples.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=19189


But the OP also said, "... but it seems the only thing widely available is the butted Indian crap" so it's a worthwhile addition to the topic not to be black and white and to mention the presence of riveted mail options in context. Your link provides such context.

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Neil Langley




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 11:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Vanderzwet wrote:
I'm looking for an attached coif with an accurate ventail; something I've only seen Erik do properly. Hopefully I'm not aware of other vendors that sell this, and someone can point me in the right direction. I'm worried I might be forced to make my own, and I don't have a lot of confidence in my tailoring abilities, lol.


Well, Cap-a-pie offer a custom tailoring service in conjunction with Gavin Jones (see 'The Maille Tailor': http://www.capapie.co.uk/custom.html) that may suit you without breaking the bank. I have recently purchased a very nice standard from Mark and found him to be incredibly helpful - so I would get in touch and see what he can do for you.

Neil.
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 11:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why not just not buy ANY mail. It's not as if it's required to assemble a quality kit. Certainly not every armed man owned the stuff. Perhaps most did not. If I ever put together a kit from the later 11th. C. I would just not have mail. Just do with cloth protection, which indeed can be done well, though itself commanding a significant cost. Quality isn't cheap.

I'm not so sure carrying a sword with no mail would be appropriate but a spear and shield may be plausable.

I don't get why so many folks opt for the admittedly very ahistorical mail anyway- especially when said very ahistorical mail can cost hundreds of dollars. It's just not much "bang for your buck".

I'm thankful for folks like Dan are here to tell it like it is. Otherwise, I could have easily been fooled into thinking that the riveted stuff was fairly close to historical specimens.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sat 14 Aug, 2010 11:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:
I don't get why so many folks opt for the admittedly very ahistorical mail anyway- especially when said very ahistorical mail can cost hundreds of dollars. It's just not much "bang for your buck".


Spending 20,000-25,000 dollar on an Erik D.S. hauberk just for reenactment or SCA isn't much bang for your buck either.

Your argument makes as little sense as saying that people should only buy Albion Museum Line swords and simply not bother with anything else.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:


I don't get why so many folks opt for the admittedly very ahistorical mail anyway- especially when said very ahistorical mail can cost hundreds of dollars. It's just not much "bang for your buck".



Well some like me have " low standards " and just want maille, even if it's not authentic: When seen at more than 20 feet no one but an expert would know the difference.

If I have to chose between $20,000 authentic maille that will take 5 years to make, no maille at all versus functional riveted or even, " the horror " , welded stainless steel Eek! Wink then I will go for the modern non-authentic maille as it's the only kind I can realistically afford or be able to find. Wink Big Grin Cool

By the way Jeremy I have no problem with your preferences or choice here for authentic or nothing, I'm just " ranting " Happy Cool
about my personal take on it and what makes me happy. Wink

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Jeremy V. Krause




PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Jeremy V. Krause wrote:


I don't get why so many folks opt for the admittedly very ahistorical mail anyway- especially when said very ahistorical mail can cost hundreds of dollars. It's just not much "bang for your buck".



Well some like me have " low standards " and just want maille, even if it's not authentic: When seen at more than 20 feet no one but an expert would know the difference.

If I have to chose between $20,000 authentic maille that will take 5 years to make, no maille at all versus functional riveted or even, " the horror " , welded stainless steel Eek! Wink then I will go for the modern non-authentic maille as it's the only kind I can realistically afford or be able to find. Wink Big Grin Cool

By the way Jeremy I have no problem with your preferences or choice here for authentic or nothing, I'm just " ranting " Happy Cool
about my personal take on it and what makes me happy. Wink


Oh I know Jean! I can tell by your collection you know just a teeny bit about quality. Wink

Folks just need to know what they are getting and that's why I find Dan's approach refreshing. It's this level of clarity that helps folks make informed decisions about what they want to spend their money on. I am thankful for finding myArmoury and the knowledgable folks here years back. Otherwise, I could have spent hundreds on low end "battle ready" arms- you know the stuff found in those mail order gun and knife magazines.
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Jean Thibodeau




PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 12:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeremy V. Krause wrote:

Oh I know Jean! I can tell by your collection you know just a teeny bit about quality. Wink

Folks just need to know what they are getting and that's why I find Dan's approach refreshing. It's this level of clarity that helps folks make informed decisions about what they want to spend their money on. I am thankful for finding myArmoury and the knowledgable folks here years back. Otherwise, I could have spent hundreds on low end "battle ready" arms- you know the stuff found in those mail order gun and knife magazines.


A context is everything. Wink Laughing Out Loud Cool

For sure there is a whole wide spectrum of " choices " between knowing nothing and being happy with very low quality kit and the other extreme ( legitimate extreme ) of wanting only the best: But it's always good to know enough to know when one is making compromises to authenticity or quality for the reasons of price or availability.

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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 3:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, so any easy way to get 'historicaly accurate' maille is either A: Go back in time, or B: make it from scratch by and for yourself.
Also, I myself have frequently sent Erik many a message regarding maille (I'll totaly have a full kit of it one day!) and he's seems more then happy to help with any queries one may have.
Oh, and for US$20,000 (what's that, about AUS$25,500?), you've got an heirloom on your hands! Laughing Out Loud



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morgan-coif-2.jpg
He's clearly pointing out how awesome real maille is!

A Knyght ther was, and that a worthy man,/ That fro the tyme that he first bigan/ To riden out, he loved chivalrie,/ Trouthe and honour, fredom and curteisie./ ... He was a verray parfit gentil knyght./ But for to tellen yow of his array,/ His hors weren goode, but he was nat gay./ Of fustian he wered a gypoun,/ Al bismotered with his habergeoun;/ For he was late ycome from his viage,/ And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.
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Pete Vanderzwet




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Does Erik make his rings, or are they produced commercially somewhere?

Of course $20,000 is a little extreme, but I was/am prepared to pay a few thousand.

I don't know why the commercially done maille is such, well, crap. None of it looks even remotely accurate, from ring size to fitting and design. Sam your signature shows how ventails were done, why is it so difficult to do this accurately with even sub-par materials? It's a design issue here; it just seems they put ZERO effort into it.









I wouldn't even mind buying some commercially made stuff if it at least looked close to the real thing. I've never seen any that does. Even Kingdom of Heaven did a reasonably good job, and that was PVC. It's like they either haven't done research to determine how the original stuff looked, or they simply don't care. My bet it's the latter.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Vanderzwet wrote:
I wouldn't even mind buying some commercially made stuff if it at least looked close to the real thing. I've never seen any that does. Even Kingdom of Heaven did a reasonably good job, and that was PVC. It's like they either haven't done research to determine how the original stuff looked, or they simply don't care. My bet it's the latter.


The problem is in the fitting. Maille is tailored to fit you like a glove. The majority of commercially available maille comes in standard sizes. What you need to do is buy one of those along with a big bag of rings and a pair of pliers and tailor it to fit you. I asked some questions about maille coifs recently and the responses were very interesing. I suggest you read that thread.
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 15 Aug, 2010 3:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pete Vanderzwet wrote:
Does Erik make his rings, or are they produced commercially somewhere?

He makes his own rveted rings and IIRC usually buys the punched ones from Seastrom.
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Ron Reimer




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PostPosted: Mon 16 Aug, 2010 2:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you using it for combat?I wear a suit of butted mail, the rings are spring steel and quite durable.Mail is very adaptable and great to wear.We get the rings from a spring works locally, they simply set the machine to cut the springs at one turn,then we spend lots of hours with pliers and rings knitting mail.
If you want to go an alternate route until you get your chain , you could take a look at theMaciejowski Bible and use quilted armour or gambeson over gambeson, also mentioned in the Speculum Regale (AKA the King's Mirror).Quilted armour was used by many social classes so I think you should have few problems with documenting sword use with this armour.
Ron
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Bjorn Hagstrom




PostPosted: Tue 17 Aug, 2010 12:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think there is real market potential in producing mail in a segment between the indian flat riveted rings and the "Erik Schmid" handdrawn super-accurate stuff.

The indian flat stuff seems very "flat". I would like to see rings that have a more evenly distributed cross section

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