Monday, October 29, 2007

Horse armour

click on these images to see details.
The Milanese style the Knights of St. John used is continued with this chaffron. I believe this armour is mostly designed for parade, though like everything the Knights wore, it was ready to be used for real! I dont' think this armour is quite right for jousting...there is no attachment points for the cage to protect the horse's eyes for instance. Particular points of interest with this armour include the short nose, the vanished leather part which must have continued down over the nose, (those brass rivets with the washers under them indicate a now vanished leather part, possibly a built in bridle?) and the strap mounts up on the top which probably attached a crinnet to protect the back of the horse's neck. Other things worthy of hinged cheek pieces..and decoration which matches the rider's armour. the roped edges are VERY difficult to do well, and the centre roping ridges not only provides a needed stability on what would otherwise be a very large flat piece, but provide a border for a very deep chiseling decoration. Again, this decoration is repousse, not engravature...the metal is all still there, albeit pushed back.
Again, I must note...this armour is not unique....rather it is representative. A piece of military kit, not a sculpture.

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