Projects

In this section I would like to present some of my previous and current projects. Mostly it will be about armour parts I have made and about how I made them and what sources I have used.

A tilting helm project

April 21th I finished shaping the face plate. After two more sessions in the smithy, when I created the frontal ridge and folded in the upper edge to strenghten the occularium, I spent the last - 4th session just fine-shaping and correcting all that had gone a bit off balance. I am now ready to polish, drill and rivet it all together.

Tilting helm

Forge - stage 4

1st session with a forge

On March 24th I managed to get to the smithy and finally started working on the frontal plate of the helmet. Being the first time at the forge I had a bit of a problem heating up the plate but after about 90 minutes I managed to achieve more or less the desired shape. Next time I am going to start some finer shaping but before I might grnd off some of the plate mass on the sides where the material doesn't have to be that thick.

Tilting helm

Forge - stage 1

Since I want to start jousting soon I am going to need a new helmet. The old Pembridge style great helmet I used to have was just 1,5mm mild steel, which might be ok for theatrical balsa-tip jousting, but I'd love to do competitive jousting so 1,5mm mild steel probably wouldn't be enough. I wouldn't feel safe in it anyway. I don't have access to a heat-treatment furnace but I have a free access to various thicknesses of mild steel. I have discussed this matter at EdC Equestrean arts and I was confirmed that 2,5mm for the top and 4mm for the frontal plate is good enough. I believe it might also be enough for some form of solid lance jousting, but I am not aiming this high.

I have decided to make an early frogmouth such as the helmet of Sirnicholas Hawberk or the helmet of Henry V.

Hawberk Helmet

Source: Medieval Spell: Medieval Tournaments, http://www.medieval-spell.com/Medieval-Tournaments.html

This might seem a bit far fetched for a mere Bohemian lord, but since in the 1380s there are accounts in Bohemia of frog mouths looking almost the same like those that were still around in the 1470s or even 1500s (Wenceslas of Luxembourg's bible) and there are also depictions of some changes in design of great helmets turning them into solely tournament equipment since 1360s in Germany (Machaut ms.: no bascinet underneath, no middle bar in the visor part, also they have coronels on the lances), I hope something like the Hawberk style is a safe postulation.

Wenceslas bible

Wild men wearing frogmouths in Wenceslas bible, source: Source: Stavitelé katedrál: Známá a neznámá vyobrazení českých panovníků ve středověku: Václav IV. jako král Menaše v iniciále H Prologu Knihy Ezdráš

Machaut 1_56

Tournament helmets in Machaut manuscript 1/56v, Germany 1360's https://www.mtholyoke.edu/ ... 1_56v.html

So far I have finished the top and back. The frontal face plate which is going to be of 4mm I am doing some time in the spring 2015. I couldn't do it at home because for that I need a propper furnace and anvil.

Tilting helm

Tilting helmet progress

A plaque belt

A substantial plaque belt seems to be a 'must' as far as late 14th century fashion is concerned. I felt obliget to complete my kit with one too. Alas, these are really hard to get around here. The only guy I knew back then in Europe who was making them was Polish Lorifactor and I couldn't afford even the simpler ones of his. So I decided to try to make one on my own.

I have chosen a design of those little pyramids with flat top, such as can be seen on multiple effigies from England, Switzerland or Germany, but to personalize it a little I used my arms for the tops instead of the usual floral motives.

I carved a negative plaster mould and made a wax model which was then multiplied in brass in a friendly foundry. The current state as shown in the photo below is polished and painted plaques rivetted on leather covered in velvet.

Plaque belt

Finished plaque belt

A jousting shield

I really want to start jousting sometimes in the upcoming years. Having that in mind I've comissioned a jousting shield. Basically I just ordered the wooden core covered in linen cloth. Although our group only concentrates on 1350s to 1378 I had to find relevant sources for what I had in mind, which was rectangular ecranche with a bouche and with raised full arms such as depicted on the effigy of Guntera von Honstein (early 1380s).

Ecranche

Source: Graham Field: Twelfth to Fourteenth Century Armour - Monumental Effigy and Brass Timeline, http://www.themcs.org/armour/14th%20cen ... armour.htm

Although there is probably no surviving evidence of this very design in the 1370's I postulated it was definitely possible since there is a surviving shield with full arms from 1320's:

Obrázek

Source: Jan Kohlmorgen - Der Mittelalterliche Reiterschild

There is also a very VERY rectangular ecrache with a bouche depicted in a 1362 manuscript Legenda sanctorum aurea, verdeutscht in elsässischer Mundart.

ecranche

Legenda sanctorum aurea, 1362

I have done the raised arms not very authenticly in plaster since I have never tried to make gesso and didn't want to mess up the shield. I smeared chunks of plaster to approximate shapes and then carved the arms more precisely before it dryed completely. Then I painted the whole thing with pigments and gold dust in linseed oil.

ecranche

Finished shield

A late 14th century coat-of-plates

One of the most widespread torso protection of the 14th century as far as I can tell based on the effigies and manuscript illustrations were coats-of-plates. In my period of interest (that is 1370s - 1380s) the c-o-p's had a typical hourglass silouette. Although some steel plates on fabric are the only authentic way, I've decided to go with steel on leather.

As inspiration I used the effigies of Michael Ralph (1370) and Konrad von Seinsheim (1369) which are virtually of the same construction. A breastplate and a fold and also the chains suspension system for holding the great helmet and weapons.

Obrázek Obrázek
Source: Graham Field: Twelfth to Fourteenth Century Armour - Monumental Effigy and Brass Timeline, http://www.themcs.org/armour/14th%20century%20armour.htm

cop

Finished coat-of-plates

Since the effigies don't really show the back part of the c-o-p I used the Wisby way: 2 'wings' wrapping over a central part.

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