30 photos in this album
A Voulge, Halberd and Corsque. The Voulge was popular in certain areas and was a cheap weapon, not unlike the Lochaber axe. This halberd is Swiss or German, and the corsque was relatively unusual. Fiore shows something like this corsque being used by a foot knight against a mounted knight.
This war hammer/poleaxe belonged to Duke Sigmund of Bavaria, and dates to the late 15thC. It has an unusually comprehensive cladding of steel langets, but has a fairly standard design of head for a bec-de-corbin type weapon. The tail spike is minimal, and it has lower and upper rondel guards. These give indication of the normal range of grip on the shaft. It bears the coat of arms of Bavaria on both sides of the head. An interesting point to note, is that this hammer belonged to the Duke of Bavaria, when Paulus Kal, contemporary of Talhoffer, was fechtmeister of Bavaria.
A late-15thC horseman's mace. This is a Gothic-styled flanged mace, probably dating to about 1480. The shaft and flanges are shaped and ornamented in 15thC gothic architectural forms that echo ecclesiastical styling of the period. These types of maces were usually quite short, about 24 Inches, and not as heavy as one might think; about 2.5-3 lbs. They seem to have been used exclusively by mounted men-at-arms, and were carried in addition to the arming sword and lance (the shield was usually not used by this date, except for the joust), slung from the saddle-bow on the right side by a thong loop. The hand was often placed through this loop, to prevent loss of the weapon when it was being used. Manuals of the period tend to neglect mounted fighting arts, and especially the use of the mace. One manual recommends that the mace be used to hit at the gauntlets and helmet (visor) of the opponent, with the aim of making the armour fail at its weakest points, or simply to stun or cause pain/injury to the opponent.
This longsword dates to around 1460, and was the ceremonial sword of the Dukes of Franconia. It features the coat of arms of Franconia, and has gilt fittings, including the quillons and chape. The pommel is made of stone with gilt fittings.
This beautiful German longsword dates to around 1430, and was the ceremonial sword of the Elector Count Friedrich the Warlike of Saxony. Apart from the exquisite ornamentation, it is also exceptional for its rock-crystal pommel. In the centre of this pommel is the Count's coat of arms. The sword features the chape so common to the first third of the 15thC, though the grip binding may be a more recent addition. The scabbard is original and features detailed relief work and enamelling. On the blade can be seen the famous running wolf.
This famous Great Helm, is commonly known as the 'Pembridge Helm', as it belonged to Sir Richard Pembridge, who died in 1375. This type of helm is of typical late-14thC type, and has parrallels in several other surviving examples, including the helm of Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince), who died in 1376, which shares a very similar form and construction. Helms were going out of favour for battlefield use by this date; the bascinet becoming more popular, but helms were retained for use in the joust until into the 16thC, in a specially designed 'frog-mouth' form. The cross-shaped holes at the bottom are for the attachment of chains to prevent loss of the helm when struck by a lance, and also for carriage. The vision slots (occularium) have flared edges to prevent weapons from slipping in. The helm weighs approximately 7lbs.
The bascinet developed from the small iron skull cap worn under the great helm. It was found that the helm was cumbersome in the melee, and after the advance or charge it was often abandoned. So additional defence to the mail coif had been sought. By the early 14thC, this had developed into the small, rounded bascinet, and by the 1340's we start to see the poited type of skull shown here. The bascinet had now replaced the helm in most instances, the helm being reserved for the tournament. This type here has become known as the 'Pig-faced' or 'Dog-faced' bascinet. This type was universally popular in north-west Europe in the late 14thC, and this specific type was in use around 1390, and up until about 1420.
This rare helmet is a type of great bascinet. The mail aventail that had been suspended to the lower edge of the bascinet during the second half of the 14thC and into the early 15thC was now replaced on the newest helmets of around 1420, by extending the lower edge of the helmet bowl down to the shoulders, hence fulfilling the role that the great helm had a century earlier. This example is probably from the 1420's, and shows one feature which may have led to the invention of the armet: It has a hinged side flap. The visor is typical of the 1410's or 1420's, and is a relation to the type of bascinet known as a 'klapvisor'.
Armet, Italian, 1430-1435. This armet is of an unusual type, without known comparison, due to the crenalated bottom line of its face-opening. Note the ventilation holes are only on the right, as the left would be the side to receive the heaviest assault. This feature can be seen on many great helms also. It is missing its visor, but has the hinges remaining at the sides, which are of the earlier type, originally being furnished with pins so the visor could be removed. Partly for this reason, the armet has been dated to 1430-5, but this dating is very debateable. It bears the mark of Tomasso dei Negroni da Ello detto Missaglia of Milan. Armets first started appearing around this date, and consisted of four plates; the skull, two plates on either side, that fastened at the back by a strap, and the chin by a pin, and finally the visor. Earlier examples like this, have vervailles for attachment of a mail ventail, later ones have plate gorgets. They originated in northern Italy, and spread throughout Europe, becoming popular with mounted knights in England by the 1450's-60's. They generally replaced the great bascinet.
This Italian Barbuta dates to around 1450 or 60. Barbuta's have their origins in Italian bascinets of the late 14th and early 15thC's, which started to show flared edges at the back and sides that began to swell into the face-opening, providing better facial protection when a visor was not worn. The barbuta and the Italian style of sallet (celata) were related, the difference being that the barbuta was longer and had a shaped face opening, as here, or with rounder eyes and a projecting nasal. Celata's were either completely open faced or visored, and were shorter (often worn with a bevor over the mouth, chin and throat). The Barbuta found favour in the form shown here in the area of Venice and the north-east coast, and an early example, dated to around 1420, from the Rhodes armouries, has a crown of one piece, and the tubular sides made out of another piece, which is rivetted on, horizontally around the brow level.
Italian Barbute (barbuta) of the middle of the 15thC (circa.1450). This variation is commonly called today, the 'Corinthian' style, because it owes much to the design of helmets from ancient Greece and Corinth. This relates to the growing interest in the ancient world that the renaissance in Italy had brought about.
A typical Italian sallet (celata) of the mid-15thC, with an unusual addition of a nasal. The Italian sallet/celata and the barbute/barbuta are essentially the same type of helmet, though barbute tend to be deeper/longer, while celata extend for less distance down the sides and back of the head, and also of course, the barbute tends to have a front that in some style covers the face to some extent, without the use of a visor. Some may call this helmet a barbute due to its depth.
A similar type of celata/barbuta to the last helmet, but left black from the forge, with applied ornamentation in gilt copper. This was likely a parade helmet, though period art does show helmets like this in battlefield use, though this may be artistic licence. This helmet is of the late-15thC, and is of the type that remained popular in Italy from the 1440's until the end of the century and even after. This type of helmet is shown in its early form in the Getty version of Fior di Battaglia by Fiore dei Liberi, and also Filippo Vadi's fighting manual of the 1480's.
A German Sallet (salade), dating to the 1480's or 90's, with bevor (mentonniere in French). Sallets were the main type of helmet worn from the 1440's to the 1490's, often worn without lower protection, and often without visor. German sallets tend to have longer tails than Italian style sallets, and the back only flares out, whereas Italian sallets dip into the nape of the neck before the tail flares out. Also, German sallets, as here, usually have a visor which makes the lower part of the front, while the top edge of the vision slit is made by the lower edge of the crown; Italian sallets often have visors that cover the whole front, with the vision slit inserted. The row of rivets here visible were for the attachment of the inner 'web' of leather that held the helmet on the head. There is a projecting lug to keep the visor in place, by springing the edge of the visor (with a hole) over it.
This gorgeous example of German gothic-style armour at its height, dates to 1480, when it was made by Lorenz Helmschmied of Augsburg, for Archduke Maximilian, later to become Emperor Maximilian I. The suit is missing its bevor, which has been simulated in red felt, and also misses any besagews, if indeed it ever had any. Every aspect of this armour is classically gothic, with extensive fluting and edge elaboration, small fauld, high laminated cuisse, 'floating' couters and spaulders both pointed to the arming jack.
This German harness is of an unusual type, and has been dated to about 1450. The reason it is unusual, is that it has a top breast defence that articulates over a lower piece around the waist. Before the middle of the 15thC, the Kastenbrust, or box-chest, type of breastplate was popular in Germany, and later, the more familiar arrangement was for a lower demi-plackart to overlap (in an upside-down V shape) the upper breast defence. The fauld here is like the earlier German harnesses, or Italian harnesses, though it is quite flared and short.
This Gothic backplate dates to around 1480, and is of excellent quality, though a standard type. Backplates were designed to give maximum mobility and flexibility, hence the large number of articulated plates in most backplates of the mid to late 15thC, German and Italian alike. The Italian type tended to be more bulged at the back, much the same as Italian breastplates were usually more domed. The back fauld had to be able to articulate upwards when seated in the saddle also. The top, at the nape of the neck, is also able to pivot, reducing the chance of injury to the neck or spine in a fall. The rivets all sit in slots, so that they can both pivot and slide; these are called sliding rivets, or sometimes almagne rivets. Backplates tended to be considerably thinner than breastplates, to keep weight down, where thickness was not so essential.