Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Later period Prague Armour

This later period armour is a very good looking "ordinance" armour. It is a nice, 2 piece breastplate, with high "stovepipe" gorget, nicely made spaulders which have a totally needless but very cool rondel in the armpit, and great big "mitten gauntlets. This is a battle armour, and it might have been tough enough for the joust...but the lack of lance rest suggests that it is not really for sport, but rather for use. Plus the Morion helm was never used for the joust. (this is assuming of course that the helm is continguous with the armour...grin!)
Note the big "dent" in the armpit from which the rondel is suspended by cords. This is how you can tell front from back! That rondel must clang like the clapper of a bell unless it was tied down by a hidden thong.
Another good detail is the pin which holds the spaulders in place....there would be cotter pin to inserted through that post on his shoulder to hold the shoulder armour in place, and that post would also provide a hinge point for the armour to move around.
The Morion helm is in period to this armour....designed to not only look really big and nasty, but also to shed arrows and sling stones. I have seen and handled original morions, and for some reason, they are almost all raised up from a single piece of steel. I am not quite sure why...but unlike most helmets, the Morion seems to be a real "show off" piece for the armour maker. I would think twice before doing all that raising! I would probably build it up in halves...they just didn't! The cheek pieces are more complex than they look....they actually swing out past that big visor, and the chin strap is attached to the inside of these cheek pieces.
As usual, the Bohemian armour has the flared gauntlets rather than a complex and delicate wrist joint which marks the better French and and some German armour.

click on the image to enlarge....

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4 comments:

justagirl said...

Very cool. So the big disk shaped piece across the top of the head is just for show then?

STAG said...

I presume you mean the "comb". Actually it serves a function...it helps to deflect arrows, and in other forms of helmet (less advanced designs), they use a comb to join the two halves of the helmet together. This one "may" be a two piece helmet, with the weak join covered with a comb, but all of the morions I actually got the chance to pick up and examine really closely were of the "raise them up from one piece" school of armouring.

STAG said...

I also checked with an engineer about that question, and she suggested that the comb might act as a "crumple zone" to soak up vertical impacts. Hard to say...crumpled helmets don't tend to end up in museums.

STAG said...

and no...I don't think it is original....