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Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > More examples of bifurcated (split-mitten) gauntlets? Reply to topic
 
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject: More examples of bifurcated (split-mitten) gauntlets?         Reply with quote

I cam across some images in some of my books that have me intrigued. We've all seen finger gauntlets and mitten gauntlets. But, there are apparently some that fall in between, which I called split-mitten for lack of a better term.

These have thumbs and places for pairs of fingers. Anyone have any more pictures of these? My own (limited) experience comes from finger gauntlets. What would be the advantages of things like these over finger or mitten gauntlets?



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Split1.jpg
Split mail mittens from Hefner-Alteneck's Medieval Arms & Armor

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Split2.jpg
Tonlet Armour of Charles V from Resplendence of the Spanish Monarchy

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Split3.jpg
Detail of gauntlet

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Split4.jpg
Drawing of harness

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Last edited by Chad Arnow on Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've heard these called bifurcated gauntlets. There is a pair at the NY Met.
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting term.

bifurcated
adj : divided into or made up of two parts

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Bill Grandy
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I've always called them the Ninja Turtle gauntlets, but yes, I've generally heard the term bifurcated. I imagine this is a modern term, though I don't know for certain.

As for advantages, in mail I guess it's a little easier to make. In plate it would imagine that it gives a little more shock absorbancy than typical finger gauntlets, with a little more dexterity than with mitten gauntlets. Though I don't know exactly what the benefit would be to having the fingers functiion this way as opposed to the other aforementioned designs. It doesn't seem to have a benefit in terms of weapons handling, in my opinion... perhaps it has to do with riding a horse? Perhaps something entirely else?

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R. D. Simpson




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Bill Grandy wrote:
It doesn't seem to have a benefit in terms of weapons handling, in my opinion... perhaps it has to do with riding a horse?

Idea
When my father taught me to ride, he told me to hold the reins with the fore and middle fingers and thumb, while keeping my ring and little fingers curled as if in a fist. I don't know if this is a traditional way to grip the reins, but if it is, it might account for these bifurcated gauntlets.
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Don Stanko




PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 12:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thats interesting. I don't know what the advantage would have been but I've seen this pattern used before. When armourers created prosthetic hands made of iron, like the appendages made for Gotz, they used this very pattern for the fingers. They moved in pairs and locked in place to hold items like a saddle harness. Just a thought...
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James Arlen Gillaspie




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 6:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tonlet armours are for foot-combat.
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R. D. Simpson




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 7:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Arlen Gillaspie wrote:
Tonlet armours are for foot-combat.

I was under the impression that the tonlet, or at least a portion of it, could usually be removed to accommodate mounted combat. Have I been misinformed?
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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 8:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

R. D. Simpson wrote:

I was under the impression that the tonlet, or at least a portion of it, could usually be removed to accommodate mounted combat. Have I been misinformed?


I don't think every tonlet armour was convertable. Happy There is at least one famous example where part of the skirt is removeable to make the wearer able to ride, but this one doesn't seem to have that feature.

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R. D. Simpson




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PostPosted: Sat 04 Feb, 2006 8:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
R. D. Simpson wrote:

I was under the impression that the tonlet, or at least a portion of it, could usually be removed to accommodate mounted combat. Have I been misinformed?


I don't think every tonlet armour was convertable. Happy There is at least one famous example where part of the skirt is removeable to make the wearer able to ride, but this one doesn't seem to have that feature.

Thanks for the correction.
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

These split mittens where quite common in civilian use. They give a bit better manual dexterity than mittens, and are as such handy if you are going to perform actual work.

They where probably just directly adapted to armour, and probably has no great protection or handling advantage.

But they would be a lot easier to make than regular finger gauntlets...

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Gregory J. Liebau




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2006 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I found another nice example of a bifurcated gauntlet on Jason Grimes' site, but it's a private gallery, so I can't reproduce the image. He dated it to the late 15th century. Out of curiousity, can someone give me the approximate date that the Charles V tonlet harness was made?

Thanks!

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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory J. Liebau wrote:
Out of curiousity, can someone give me the approximate date that the Charles V tonlet harness was made?


The book lists it as 1520-1530.

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James Arlen Gillaspie




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PostPosted: Sun 05 Feb, 2006 7:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is not uncommon for harness of this type (and this Charles V harness is a perfect example) to have a heavy (relatively speaking) mitten gauntlet on the right hand and a split mitten of some sort on the left. When I saw this harness in Madrid, it was in a case with a similar harness, only its left gauntlet had THREE fingers together and an articulated pinkie (!). Speaking for myself as someone who makes and uses armour, this is the sort of arrangement I would ideally prefer, only possibly a full-blown fingered gauntlet on my left hand. It's the fingers that tend to get hit on the right hand, and the knuckles on the left.
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Peter Törlind




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PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2014 2:11 pm    Post subject: METs bifurcated         Reply with quote

Anyone has some more info on the bifurcated gauntlet in this old video?

http://youtu.be/NjKbi7YUNaI?t=8m30s




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Bifurcated gauntlet from the MET video from 1920 [ Download ]


Last edited by Peter Törlind on Mon 11 Aug, 2014 10:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Mark T




PostPosted: Mon 11 Aug, 2014 3:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter: great video - thanks!

I've also recently become interested in bifurcated gauntlets, especially those with mail on the fingers. At The Armour Archive last year, Jason Grimes wondered if these may have been used with crossbows, as they give more finger dexterity than fully-plated fingers; the question was then asked if they'd provide enough dexterity to remove arrows/bolts from quivers ... if anyone has any documented sources or strong opinions on this design, I'd be interested in hearing them.

In the meantime, here's a pair from the Bayerisches Armeemuseum Museum Ingolstadt. Pic is from Arma Bohemia's website; they're currently offering a pair based on them.



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Bayerisches Armeemuseum Museum Ingolstadt; possibly for use with crossbow.jpg


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