Thursday, February 18, 2010

Half Armour, Antique.

click on the images to enlarge.

Bad picture of a close helmet. However what is "new and interesting" is the fairly fancy gorget part of this helmet. I believe that the gorget is separate and added later on this armour.

A closeup of the fauld attachment to the breastplate. Note the strap which fits under the "pot belly". This armour does not have keel, the owner would not have used it for defending against a lance. The "pot belly" is a reflection of the civilian peascod jacket which was in favor for so many years.

The gorget, and the fancy rolled top edge. (neck edge)

The left arm pauldron. I am betting he would have been carrying a shield on that arm.
The right arm and haute piece which protects the joint. Note the wrap around elbow cops.
This is the half armour from the front. Because of the date of this armour, all the German armourers were making armour which looked like Italian armour. This causes a certain amount of confusion when identifying origins "at a glance".
And from the side, the peascod look was all the rage at the time. I heart those gauntlets!! Very nearly the most perfect armour IMHO.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A virtual tour of Dover Castle

English Heritage has been very active in Dover Castle last few years. They went to Renaissance Faires, and found people who still do the old stuff, like sword making, tapestry weaving, wood turning, tanning, and all the stuff they used to do back in the day. This is encouraging since it means the crafts are not in any danger of dying out! The link above takes you on a virtual tour of the great tower built by William the Conqueror's grandson, and shows their best guess of how the royal apartments looked back then. I found that I got so tied up with the details that I had a hard time actually putting myself into the "room" until the ghostly voices spoke beside me. Not a boring tour guide voice, but the voices of the cook preparing dinner and ordering his villains around, the women complaining about standing for hours because the king was too excited to sit down, and when the king is standing, everybody else is standing too! These added an awesome dimention to the experience.

So spend a half hour or so, and take the virtual tour. It will be worth it!

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Thursday, February 4, 2010

Monday, February 1, 2010

On Line Auctions

As anybody who knows me will tell you, I am not happy with on line auctions. Though I do notice that the worst excesses and stupidities (and frauds) of ebay have largely been eliminated, and moved onto Craigs list and similar.
That being said, there is ONE on line auction which I have always been very much in favor of, and that is the "Auctions Imperial" which occurs in Maryland every Spring. I don't get anything for advertising it here, by the way, but I have always been impressed by the quality of material which is consigned to this auction house.

The send me a newsletter once a year. (Thats one of the things I like about them....even their spam is understated!) Their home page has a couple of dates wrong (big deal), and they don't have their catalogue up yet, but they DO have a couple of the very VERY nice things in their "featured items" section.

One of the nicest things they have is a complete illustrated list of items which were auctioned off last year, and the prices they realized. This will assist people to answer that difficult question..."well, what is a real antique sword worth anyway?"

cut and paste of their newsletter follows....

We are pleased to announce our upcoming auction of fine antique arms and armor, to be held at


following the MACA Antique Arms Show

To preview some of the fine antique arms included in this auction, order your catalog or register to bid, please visit
www . auctionsimperial . com

Best wishes for a happy New Year,

Auctions Imperial

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