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M. Curk




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Location: Slovenia
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 10:07 am    Post subject: Function of a bulge on 16. century breastplates         Reply with quote

Hello there!
I've just returned from Graz in Austria where I visited the museum (also known as Styrian armoury) in which you can see over 30.000 pieces of 16th century arms and armour.
Most of breastplates i've seen had a strange bulge at the bottom. I think its purpose was to deflect lances or more probably bullets but i'm not sure about it since another example (16th century too) I've seen in the book "Medieval arms and armor - pictorial archieve" seems to deflect low blows towards the groin.
If anyone has any ideas please share them!

Cheers from Slovenia,
Miha



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D. Phillip Caron




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 10:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A place to put a pot belly comes to mind ... however. I offer this instead. It could well be a means to add angle where there was little or none. It would provide additional thickness too. The same reasons armored vehicles today us angle.
The first casualty of battle is bravado, the second is macho.
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F Hynd




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 10:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The style is known as a peascod breast plate. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe it was more of a fashion than any functional purpose, aiming to emulate the shape of doublets of the period.

another couple of exampls probably from the same period



different harness to pervious and but as clear but was more pronounced.

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 10:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It mimics the design of the doublets fashionable at the time.
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ChadA

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Scott Woodruff




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PostPosted: Sat 28 Apr, 2012 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Alternatively, it could be that doublets that became fashionable at the time mimicked the breastplates. Looking at the developement of armour and the changes in fashion in the 14th-16th centuries, it really seems to me that advances in armour technology led to different silhouettes and body shapes, which were then mimicked by civilian fashions. Considering the importance of the military class during these centuries, this seems quite reasonable to me. The peascod is an excellent example. From a functional perspective, it makes perfect sense on a breastplate, but there was not much prescedent for it in the fashion world. The earlier "pigeon-breasted" silhouette, I believe, is another good example. Initially, the shape would allow more flexibility in the heavy gambeson, mail and plate reinforcement armor of the time as well as assisting in distributing more weight to the hips and less on the shoulders, and once the shape became associated with all that was good and knightly, it was copied in civilian clothes. That is my theory anyways. What do you all think, could the armor follows fashion theory be completely backwards? Could it be that military advances led the way and fashion followed?
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Perry L. Goss




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 4:34 am    Post subject: peascod         Reply with quote

Miha & Scott:

Now...it has been years. Memory and time being inversely related! But I recall a conversation with Patrick Thaden and yes...emulated/connected with fashion. But! That was not the whole entent behind the configuration. There was a functional aspect as well as the profiles shed blades very well. And of course a nifty side bar was that in the day - it was cool looking. Which came first? What drove what?

Patrick also mentioned something about the work involved and again do not quote me, but..this style was actually easier to make than many others. And, since Patrick has obviously been there and done that - I trust his input.

Chicken before the egg...got no clue.

Scottish: Ballentine, Black, Cameron, Chisholm, Cunningham, Crawford, Grant, Jaffray, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, MacKay-Reay/Strathnaver, Munro, Robertson, Sinclair, Wallace

Irish/Welsh: Bodkin, Mendenhall, Hackworth

Swiss: Goss von Rothenfluh, Naff von Zurich und Solland von Appenzel
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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 1:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These are some pretty good evidence that the breastplates were meant to look like doublets. You don't normally need decorative buttons on a breastplate.


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Perry L. Goss




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thomas:

That is a fantastic waistcoat picture!

Any details on that first one in your post?

Thank you
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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 5:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Those were pictures I took in the Wallace Collection in London. They have an excellent online collection tool.

The first one.
http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMus...detailView

This is their entry for the second one.
http://wallacelive.wallacecollection.org/eMus...detailView

You will also find more there as this other picture of mine that didn't come out too well shows. Also all of the photos I have put up are only a quarter of the size of the actual ones I took so if you would like more details I can email them to you.



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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The ones with front closures and decorative buttons are likely not field armour, but armour for show and/or light protection in street fights.
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Perry L. Goss




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PostPosted: Sun 29 Apr, 2012 8:14 pm    Post subject: Tomas and Chad         Reply with quote

Thanks guys. Tomas, sent a PM and Chad thank you for the input. I think we covered this some months back. At least a tangent anyway. Good info.

Man I love those things!
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William P




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 12:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

one example of military causing fashion trends is evidenced nowdays by the use of 'camo print' and other stuff by people in everyday life aka camo pants, or the tendency of rockstars like freddie mercury and michael jackson, how they used to dress up in 19th century military style jackets with piping and epaulets and other things (not to mention the costume of the beatles in their song 'hello goodbye'

on the same token, armour in europe was very heavily influenced by fashion preexisting,

also, its worth noting that according to a book i have on the graz armoury collection, it seems to also suggest it was based off civilian fashion,

it notes the maximillian armour style to be fashion based, with the flutings matching the lines on the doublets of the era. aka the houppalade etc,
and lets not forget that gothic and italian developed for mostly stylistic reasons rather than being good against different weapons.
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Perry L. Goss




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PostPosted: Mon 30 Apr, 2012 5:07 am    Post subject: Camo print         Reply with quote

William P:

Uh...thank you - I guess for reminding me about camo print! Eek! I teach college in a larger city in MO and dwell in the Ozarks.

Good points though!

Scottish: Ballentine, Black, Cameron, Chisholm, Cunningham, Crawford, Grant, Jaffray, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, MacKay-Reay/Strathnaver, Munro, Robertson, Sinclair, Wallace

Irish/Welsh: Bodkin, Mendenhall, Hackworth

Swiss: Goss von Rothenfluh, Naff von Zurich und Solland von Appenzel
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