Sunday, October 13, 2013
There are so many great books on the subject of metal work and armouring. Here is one which I really enjoyed.
Knowledge is priceless. But I won't leave you with a homeword assignment like that. How about a sneak peak at one of the Vienna armours. Pictures from the back of armour are rather rare. Lets see what knowledge we can squeeze from this one hmmmm.
The picture above is worth examining closely. Its pretty late period, what with the big buff coat. However, keep in mind that it is pretty much at the end of the armoured period, and of course, it would be state of the art. So lets look at it closely.
First of all, the crisp clean lines show stunning workmanship. The metal has never seen a wheel, every hammer mark on the surface plate shows clearly. ( Once in a rare while, I have been asked to make a surface finish which looks like that rather than using the wheel. The double price usually changes their minds! You have to do it all ) The protective picadills have all vanished of course, one wonders how it would look in the day with bright red or gold frills on those spaudlers. Or maybe not...this is pretty "ordinance" and maybe the picadills didn't show.
I will have to make a proper rolling stake to be able to do that beautiful outside roll. Oh, how envious I am of that!
The cute little fan like flutes on the backplate argue that this is not just an ordinance armour, but it is certainly a functional one. This is not a parade armour for sure. How heavy would it be? Well, having lifted many of the real armours over the years, they tend to run in the eighteen gauge range. This armour might even be steel and tempered, though I doubt it highly. Back plates tend to be pretty light and assay out as mostly iron.
The faulds are beautiful. Note the flat surface which would fit neatly to his saddle. I kind of like the turn key which allows his squire to unclip it if he decides to use a riding saddle instead of a high back jousting saddle. This was sufficiently unusual to warrant a picture on its own!
Keep in mind by this time, the armours were commonly being made from old armours. So the blacksmiths in Northern Italy were cutting up old bullet ridden stuff and forming it into new stuff all the time. You can often see the joins on the inside, but NEVER on the outside. So a lot of armours will assay differently depending upon where you take the sample from. An assay of a helmet in the Palace Museum in Malta I had the honour to peruse noted that there was high grade steel on the brow, and the rest was iron. You could not tell that from just looking at it. This phenomon has resulted in hundreds of on line forum hours of nonsense. Clearly they used what they had, not what would be best for the purpose. (Now that threw the cat in amongst the pigeons.)
Comments are welcome. Positive ones.