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7726Re: [medieval-leather] Leather Armor History

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  • Neil Carr
    Apr 1, 2003
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      Gomez Addams wrote:

      > How prevalent was leather armor in the 800 to 1400's and what style
      > was it? I have been looking at some of the patterns that various
      > people have on the internet for making leather armor and the various
      > pieces that are commercially available and have not found any
      > references that these are anywhere near historically correct... I
      > have found numerous references to coats of plates which used METAL
      > plates and other leather and metal combinations but nothing referring
      > to the all leatherarmor that I see being used today, or the
      > leather "scale" or "leather plate" that is being worn... are these
      > just something someone made up (SCAisms like the ring belt)? About
      > every picture and statue that I have come across show the figures
      > either not wearing any armor or wearing METAL armor (Chain, or plate
      > or "coats of plates") not leather...
      >

      Short answer : there are definitely some pieces of armour that were leather, such as legs
      in the 1200's

      (see http://www.meridies.org/as/dmir/Arms&Armor/02/0216.html for one such conjectural
      reconstruction)

      but I think you'd have to look long and hard to find any good references to leather scale
      or coat-of-plates in western europe, I know I haven't seen any, but I haven't looked
      particularly hard..

      *however*

      one *period* source that specifically mentions cuir boulli armour for tournaments (the
      direct analogous situation toSCA heavy combat) is Rene's Tournament Manual. Translation at:

      http://www.princeton.edu/~ezb/rene/renebook.html
      It even has illustrations contrasting metal (white harness) and boulli arms
      http://www.princeton.edu/~ezb/rene/arms.gif
      Those arms actually do look a lot like what I see offered by online leather armourers

      Thomas
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