Steel Symposium hosted by Elie Huchinson

This is the items selected for a talk arranged by Elie Huchinson in conjunction with the Steel Symposium for 2022.

The discusion will focus on a discussion of Reproduction, restoration and fakes.

The line between a reproduction, a restoration and a fake can be messy and it can change over time. There are things that can be done when making reproductions and restorations to help keep the distinction clear. In many cases "reproductions" are sufficiently different from originals that there really isn't any possible confusion. This type of reproduction can serve various purposes including interior decoration, cosplay, modern martial arts, etc. Many reenactors aim for a higher bar and attempt In many cases to more closely mimic originals. There was a great fad in making "new" armor and in "completing" the remains of existing armours in the 19th and early 20th century. This led to a lot of pieces of various qualities, and many of these pieces ended up in the major collections built at the time. The original published catalog of the Higgins Armory is a prime example of this (at the high end). This can be illustrated and discussed at a low level using items from the Allen collection.


Breastplate late 15th c.

Built in the characteristic 15th c. style of 2 plates where the upper plate covers much of the chest and is overlapped by a lower plate that rises up in the center. The upper plate has simple, tapered, outward-turned rolls at the neck and arms. The roll at the neck is just slightly curved. There are two rivets for attachment of buckles at the shoulders, both of these are replaced, one has been moved somewhat to account for the loss of the end of the shoulder extension. There is another rivet right at the edge of the loss that matches the location of the rivet on the other shoulder. The lower plate has a flare at the bottom for the suspension of a fauld. There are 2 holes for the rivets to secure the fauld lames, a rivet remains in one hole. The 2 plates are presently secured by 4 rivets, the largest, central one of these would have originally been a bolt, the others are later additions. The lower plate rises to a wide peak at the center and it cut with 2 small cusps at the side. The edges of the central point are beveled over most of the edge. The bevel terminates before the cusps. This breastplate is of relatively heavy construction. The metal thickness by visual inspection in the center appears to be app. 3 mm tapering to app. 1 mm at the sides. These are estimates as it is hard to actually measure the thickness in its current configuration. A few actual measurements with a deep micrometer indicates that after the losses to rust the central upper breastplate varies between .115 and .150 in. in the center. The edge under the arm thins noticeably - the very edge is generally .040-.050 with one thin spot down to .030. Within 2 in. from the edge it thickens to .090 and then on up to the central thickness. The lower plate is more even in thickness and noticeably thinner - generally app. .050 in. It is basically a really large waist lame. There is some loss to one shoulder and at the center of the lower flare.

A very similar breastplate is illustrated as item 5.8 (page 89) in The Medieval Armour from Rhodes by Karcheski and Richardson. This item is in the collection of the Chateau de Grandson Switzerland. This breastplate is described as German or Italian end of the 15th/early 16th century. They also identify it as of the type called Fussknechtbrust - for use by armoured infantry. This one may be intended for mounted or higher-end use since the metal thickness varies from the center to the sides. Generally these simple 2 piece breastplates are attributed to late 15th c.

Measurements: (all taken straight on the inside) - width at the narrowest spot between the armholes - 9 1/2 in., width at the bottom of the armholes 14 3/8 in., width at the waist 12 1/4 in., height from waist to the top of the center of the neck 13 7/8 in., overall height 15 1/4 in.

Weight 6 pounds 10.6 ounces (3,025 g). [inv. num. A-193]

This is a "relic" item. Understanding what it can tell us really requires an understanding of armor. It has lost its fauld, there is major pitting, buckles are lost, and the pieces have been secured after its initial working life. This piece requires some knowledge from other pieces to understand what we are seeing. Other documented ones like this (see the Rhodes book) show that the central rivet was a bolt, the other 3 rivets are later, there is no provision for internal leathers and the fauld would have been secured by rivets, not leathers.

German Gothic Breastplate

German Gothic Breastplate circa 1480-1490

Composed. Formed of two pieces joined by a bolt. The main plate with a low medial ridge, plain angular, outward turned rolls at the neck and arm holes. The roll at the neck forming a vertical front edge then rounded over the top. The roll tapers nicely at the ends. The arm rolls of similar, but not as nicely executed form. The arm holes each with three one sided step flutes parallel to the rolls. Plackart rising to a central squared off point pierced with four hearts, the center with a vertical keel. The upper edges of the plackart with two parallel flutes. The outer of these is a step, the next seems symmetric. Bottom edge of the plackart flared to carry a fauld. The parts have been together for all of its modern history, but they are associated. The plackart and upper are secured to each other by a central bolt which threads directly into one of 4 holes pierced in the upper. The bolt is likely from the same period and the threads fit the threads in the upper. The top hole is cleanly cut, the bottom three are significantly mushroomed inward around the edges. As currently displayed, it sits a little tall, and the waist line will appear to be straighter than it would have been originally. Plates show signs of delamination and wear through cleaning. There are two small dents in the upper breast. These look like they may have been caused by impact from a square pointed weapon.

Measurements: Total weight 4 pounds 12.4 ounces (2.169 kg) - upper breastplate 3 pounds 8.2 ounces (1595 g), plackart 1 pound 4.4 ounces (580 g). 9 7/8 inches wide at the top at the outside of the arm rolls, tapering out to about 10 1/2 inches where the armholes sweep out under the arms, 13 3/4 inches wide under the arms, 11 inches wide at the waist. Upper breastplate 12 7/8 inches tall at the center (measured straight on the inside). Neck roll 0.37 inch tall and 0.50 inch wide at the center. The roll tapers to 0.18 inch wide and 0.12 inch tall at the end. The thickness of the upper breastplate is extremely variable, between .019 and .097 inch. I expect that some of the thickness has been lost due to cleaning. If there is any pattern at all to the thickness, it would appear that the upper thins some under the arms and in areas that might have been covered by a larger original plackart. Plackart .038-.068 inch thick, pretty randomly distributed. As a guess the lack of intentional thickness management appears to confirm that these parts were originally part of lower quality armours.

Provenance - H. Wendel, Munich 1926, Stephen V. Granscay by 1933, Howard M. Curtis sold Christie's London 31 Oct. 1984 lot 273, a private French collection.

Exhibited - Brooklyn Museum 1933 no. 16, Rochester Museum of Arts and Sciences 1935, Allentown Art Museum 1964 no. 64 (illustrated in the catalogue on page 41). [inv. num. A-330]

This was displayed with a fauld, and was likely at one point part of a harness. It has since been stripped back to what we see here. The two pieces are original, and can be displayed together, but they weren't used together. The parts still have a good deal to teach us, and it can display well enough to have been in special exhibits. Studying this piece really requires taking the two parts apart and inspecting them individually. The upper shows us the (often not understood) geometry that is common in many of these breastplates which involves a relatively straight bottom edge, threaded plate and no leathers.


Breastplate circa 1490

German. Composed. Upper plate with outward turned triangular rolls at the neck and arms. The form of the upper breastplate and specifically its rolls with sweeping inner curves compares very well to the Gothic armours in Vienna made by Lorenz Helmschmied. Plackart formed of one main plate and two smaller plates. Plackart associated. Plackart lames somewhat reworked to fit upper. Some modern internal patches in original plates. One end of the upper breastplate extended to match other side. Modern fauld of four lames. Upper plate fitted with a folding lance rest secured by two bolts from he inside. Lance rest described as modern in sale description. After removal and investigation the details of construction and wear indicate that there is a possibility that the lance rest is actually of the period, possibly even originally part of the same armour as the upper breastplate. It compares very closely to those which survive on the Vienna Gothic armours of the same period. There are also similarities to the lance rest on slightly later Mantova B-8. The bolts are also similar to one of those on the Mantova armour. Two modern buckles at the shoulders. Ex. JW Higgins armoury inv. no. 802. From Dr Bashford Dean, Riverdale, New York, purchased from his estate, 28th September 1929. Exhibited Rockefeller Center, New York, 1 - 30 June 1965 and Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, 9 April - 16 September 1963

Measurements: Breastplate: 13 1/2 in tall from the base of the neck to center of waist, 11 in. wide at the shoulders, 7 1/2 in. wide at the top of the neck, 10 1/2 in. wide at the narrowest spot between the arms, 14 3/8 in. wide under the arms and 10 1/4 in. wide at the waist. Lance Rest. The hinge portion is composed of 3 parts. The central part is part of the base, the two outside elements are part of the hook. The outer two knuckles are 1/4 in. thick. The central knuckle is just over 5/16 in. thick. There isn't a clean spot where the hinge actually is a full circle. But if I measure from the top to the flat spot on the bottom, it is just over 7/8 in. tall. Top to bottom 4 1/8 in. from end of point to end of point. The base arches app 5/16 in. above the level of the 2 points at the center to allow it to fit to the curve of the breastplate. From the center of the base to the end of the hook 4 3/16 in. Width of the base from the end of a point to flat spot 1 3/4 in. Holes are app. 1 1/2 in. apart on center. Weight of the lance rest: 8.6 ounces (245g).

Breastplate thickness (measuring in the upper breastplate, the least adapated part) .085 in. to .12 in. generally .095-.11 in. It seems to be a little thicker under the lance rest. [inv. num. A-237]

This is an example of what happened in the 19th and early 20th century. In this case it was likely done by Bashford Dean. This was a piece that he owned, and it went to the Higgins where it was displayed as-is. Due to the issues with it, the WAM deaccessioned it. We will look at this in depth to see what is good, what is in between and what is bad with this piece.


Breastplate circa 1500

For infantry use. Formed in one piece with strong medial ridge and large, tapered, angular outward turns at the neck and arm holes. Narrow flare at the waist with pairs of holes at each side for the suspension of the fauld lames. The rolls taper down to very fine ends. The form of the rolls is relatively tall and somewhat narrow. The faces of the rolls are flat and touch the main body at a very steep angle. These are often called triangular rolls, but the back "angle" is really a broad curve. The neck roll comes to a very subtle point at the center.

The mark is the same as that found on a right cuisse formerly in the armoury of the Dukes of Osuna, later in the collection of Francis Henry Cripps Day and also the left spaulder of an armour previously in the collection of Abrose Monnell. Typical of ones shown in Spanish and Flemish sources. Given its assumed provenance it was likely used in Spain. This is a fine example of a rare type of breastplate made at the turn of the 16th century. Examples like it may be found in the Waffensammlung Vienna, Metropolitan Museum NY, Bostom Museum of Fine Art, Musee do L'Armee, Kienbusch Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Mantova etc. Details of the form are very similar to the breastplate on armour B5 in Mantova (specifically the aggressively tapered rolls, curve over the top of the shoulder, high neck line and the central curve. There is a similar breastplate in the current collection: item number A-66. Painted on the inside with the number 4116 in black paint.

Measurements: height from the center neck hole to the waist flare 13 1/2". Width 13 1/4" under the arms, 10 1/2" at the waist, 11 1/8" at the shoulders, 10 1/2" at the narrowest point across the uppper chest (outside of roll to outside of roll on the inside). Thickness - overall thicker in the center, thinning at the shoulders and under the arms - generally app. .08-.09" at the center and .05 at the edges under the arms. There are spots at the edges under the arms down to .039 and some areas in the center left chest up to .120. Arm rolls reach .7 in. at the highest spot, the neck roll .75 in. tall at the center. Weight 4 pounds 15.2 ounces (2.245 kilos).

Provenance: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. from Bashford Dean, and probably part of the items sold over three sales in 1880, 1890 and 1896 of the Armoury of the Duke of Osuna and Infantado. [inv. num. A-321]

This is also went through Dean's hands. In this case what is left is good. It was part of a full suit displayed in the Nelson-Atkins museum in Kansas City. The suit included all sorts of odd parts, the salade being the best bit, then probably the breastplate the rest being a mish-mash of old, repurposed and "restored" pieces.


Arm circa 1430

Extremely rare example of a 15th c. piece of armour. Arm for the left arm. Perhaps from the fortress at Chalcis (Negroponte). Formed of a tubular upper cannon that wraps two thirds of the way around the arm connected to a bluntly-pointed cop with an abbreviated wing by one lame. The cop is then connected to a tulip-shaped vambrace formed of two pieces hinged on the outside by hinges and secured by a strap and buckle on the inside. The cop is connected to the vambrace by two lames. The second lame is attached to the vambrace by means of 3 lateral slots allowing the arm to rotate. The lower edge of the vambrace is bordered by a line of small rivets. The lower cannon is marked by an indistinct maker's mark involving a split cross. The upper edge of the upper plate with a narrow, outward-turned roll and a line of rivets securing a (later) leather used to lace the armour to the arming doublet. The inner plate of the vambrace, one lame, lisiere d'arret, one half of one hinge, and all of the rivets replaced. The character of these restorations is similar to the restorations on the Rhodes pieces in the Royal Armouries. Given Claude Blair's association with the Royal Armouries and the presence of the letters HRR on the inside of the inner vambrace plate it is likely that this piece was restored there (HRR almost certainly represents H. Russell Robinson). From the personal collection of Claude Blair. For similar examples see Stephen V. Granscay, The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armour...., 1933, nos. 76-81, pl. V. The most detailed record of the pieces discovered at Chalcis see C. J Ffoulkes, An Italian Armour from Chalcis in the Ethnological Museum at Athens, Archaeologia, LXII (1911) pp. 381-390.

Measurements 39 cm long. The arm is 15 in. long overall when straight, upper cannon 5 1/2 in. tall at the center of the cop, 4 5/16 in. wide at the top, 4 3/16 in. wide at the bottom. The upper cannon is 8 1/8 in. around the circumference. The roll at the top of the upper cannon is 1/8 in. tall and 3/16 in. deep. Lower cannon 7 1/4 in. long at the center of the cop, 3 7/8 in. wide at the elbow, 2 5/8 in. wide at the wrist. The cop 3 1/4 in. tall at the center, 2 in. tall at the wing, 1 1/2 in. tall at the back. The slots in the vambrace for rotation are 5/8 in. wide. The hinges are 3/4 in. wide, the upper one is 1 3/8 in. long. The inside measurements of the buckle are 3/4 in. on the wide side of the trapezoid, 5/8 in. on the short side and 5/16 in. tall. The thickness varies significantly. The upper cannon is .040-.090 in., mostly .050-.070 in. The thickest part in the center. The cop is .050-060 on the back and .070-.080 on the front. The outer plate of the lower cannon is generally .070-.080 in the upper center and .050-.060 near the wrist. The upper lame is app. .030 in. and the lower one .040 in.

Weight 2 pounds 7.2 ounces (1,110 g). [inv. num. A-186]

This is a piece that shows a style of restoration that was common in the early/mid 20th c. which was more ethical than many. The modern pieces are made to complete the lost bits of the piece but without any attempt to fake.

Two couters

Two couters circa 1490

A pair of elbows - one is authentic, the other a well made copy. Each of shell form, pointed at the outside of the elbow and with a flare at the inside of the bend of the elbow. The outer surface covered by three stepped flutes on each side and a central squared raised ridge. Each of these is accentuated by an engraved line at the base of the step. The outer edge is decorated by a series of five cusps. The back and inside of the wing are plain. The cops have modern straps and have four holes at the center to secure the cop to the arm. Four holes are usually indicative of laces, but these holes appear to be smaller than would be normal for this. The form, decorative elements and four holes indicate a late 15th century date for the elbow.

Measurements: Elbow thickness varies significantly reflecting the rough interior surface - a few thick areas app. .060, thin areas app. .030. Varies significantly even in spots close to each other often between .040 and 050 in one area of the center. It appears this elbow was shaped roughly and ground to its smooth surface, not hammered to the exact shape.

Weights: elbow: 7.4 ounces (210g). [inv. num. A-214]

This was sold as a pair of arms. I was a little lucky and the dealer and I knew each other so the description was more honest than many. It could be described as a "rare late 15th c. gothic pair of arms." Actually this is a pair of early 16th c. spaulders with some real repairs, a pair of totally modern vambraces (not even that nice) one late 15th c. elbow and one modern mate made to match.


Pauldron circa 1480-1500

Main plate from a pauldron. One piece with radiating flutes in the back, parallel horizontal flutes at the top and vertical flutes on the side. The front appears to have been unfluted. Together with a modern copy made as a mate. This was in the Granscay collection, the well made mate was likely made by the armourers at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The original has significant modern patches riveted inside. [inv. num. A-68]

This shows how much something can be "restored," and what can happen when it is. This was originally the main plate off of a pretty nice, likely Italian export pauldron from the late 15th c. Then it rotted away and someone (likely at the Met) fixed it.

Elbow cop

Elbow cop circa 1510-30

Decorated with flutes and recessed bands. A 'floating' cop used with separate upper and lower cannons of the vambrace. The mate is a very well made modern copy (to form a pair). The mate was made in the armouries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. 7.5 in. tall Thickness varies between .020 and .045, mostly in the .030-035 range. There does not appear to be an intentional pattern in the thickness variation. 10 oz (275 g). [inv. num. A-53]

This is a "pair" of elbow cops. Actually, one is real and one is a very well done modern copy. I was told it was made at the Met, so that is what I state. The work is definitely good enough for that to be the case, and the source had obtained a lot out of NY.


Gauntlet circa 1590

Italian. Good quality Italian gauntlet for the left hand (fingers and thumb missing) etched in the characteristic Pisan fashion. One piece cuff joined with a rivetted overlap at the inside of flared form with inward turned, roped roll at the edge and a parallel raised, roped line with etching in between. Plain inward turn at the wrist. Back of hand covered by 5 plates and a knuckle plate with rounded areas over each knuckle. Hand plates with internal assembly marks in the form of 5 chisel marks at the edge. Retains some gilding. Ends of the metacarpal plates at the thumb side with multiple decorative notches, single notches on the opposite side. Associated with a lower quality modern copy of a right gauntlet with similar etching. Modern copy not forming a pair. [inv. num. A-244]

This was sold as two gauntlets, one original. I expect that it hadn't been long since they had been displayed together on a suit. They serve to illustrate a lot of things that differentiate a real gauntlet from a much less well executed reproduction. Ignoring the etching and the remains of gilding, the form of the cuff, the form of the back of hand and the interior are dead give aways.

Waistcoat Cuirass.

Waistcoat Cuirass. circa 1570

Italian. Formed to mimic the peascod style of civilian clothing popular at the time with a waist that droops at the center of the waist. Arms and neck bordered by inward-turned roped rolls. Waist flaired and cut to form picadills. Formed of five main pieces. The main front and back plates solidly at the side and shoulder. These units are then secured to the central back plate by two hinges and an alignment pin on each side. The front is decorated with a line of pointed buttons and secured by a hook through a hole in a peg at the base, a turning hook in the center and a pin in the gorget plates. The neck is extended to form an integral gorget. The gorget, like the cuirass, is formed of 3 separate pieces. One that extends the central back plate, the others that cover the sides and join at the front. The Italianate details include the form of the peascod (more rounded) the overlap at the center (many German ones just overlap to the center), the buttons down the center, and the relatively straight form of the gorget plates. All of the turns have wire inside.

The waistcoat cuirass was based on several surviving Italian waistcoat cuirasses. These included examples in the Wallace collection, Chicago Art Institute, etc. Primary design was taken from one that survives in the Odescalchi collection in Rome in the Museo di Palazzo Venezia #1251. It is illustrated in figures 167 and 168 in Armi e Armature Lombarde. Since this was made we have added item number A-240, an example of a similar type of cuirass.

Tracy was allowed to design the clothing to suit Italian styles of the appropriate period. The outfit was inspired by a 1560 portrait by Giovanni Moroni, "The Man in Pink". It is made of silk and linen. Additional sources include a couple of outfits described by Janet Arnold in Patterns of Fashion 3 to pattern it: the 1562 grave clothes of Don Garzia de Medici and the 1618 suit of Sir Richard Cotton. There are a couple of deviations from period practice for the comfort of the wearer - the doublet and breeches do not lace together and there's a zipper behind the codpiece. The overall look is good. Geoffrey is tall and slim so he has the right physique to pull off this kind of thing. Embroidered silk-covered bead buttons.

Formed from 14g for the breast plates, 16g for the back plates and 20g for the neck plates. Full-wrap hinges formed of 20g. All of 1050.

Armour by Wade Allen, clothing by Tracy Justus. Produced for Geoffrey Allen when he was 12. [inv. num. R-35]

This is a reproduction waistcoat breastplate. I made it before I was able to purchase one. So I had to work like everyone else, from pictures.

Waistcoat Cuirass

Waistcoat Cuirass circa 1580

Italian. Full peasscod shape mimicing the doublet of the time. Formed in three pieces, one narrow one down the center of the back and two sides which join at the center of the front. The sections are secured by a pair of interior inset hinges in the lower portion of the back. Arm holes with outward turned roped rolls bordered by an engraved line. Neck and waist edges with inward turned finely roped rolls and bordered by single incised lines. The front is decorated with a series of false buttons formed of iron rivets with brass caps, a few of which have lost their caps. The cuirass is secured closed by means of two threaded studs on the interior plate that engage holes on the outer plate. Currently one of these holes is filled with a modern brass bolt. The top edge is formed into a low straight collar, the bottom edge is flared out below the waist. Shot proof thickness with what appears to be a proof mark on the left side. A nice example of a rare type of body armour. Several defenses of this type (etched) survive in the Wallace collection. There are a few plain ones in the Graz arsenal. These are normally thought of as light civilian armours or decorative, but there are several like this one that are definitely designed for protection against weapons used in warfare.

Measurements: Width under the arms 14 in. width at the waist 10.25 in. height at the back from the waist to the top of the collar 16.25 in. Neck hole 6 in. wide and 6.25 front to back. Thickness varies significantly and apparently intentionally. Selected locations on the center back plate are app. .10 in. The shoulders vary between .16 in. and .18 in. Thick spots in the front are .30 in.

Weight: 26 pounds 11.2 ounces (12.114 kg).

Provenance: Peter Finer. Listed in the 1996 catalogue. Previously from the Christies sale Weds 22 July 1992 lot 105 where it is compared to the Cologne-made waistcoat cuirass in the Kienbusch Collection (no. 29) [inv. num. A-240]

This is a heavy, shot proof waistcoat breastplate. The pattern of construction is the same as the one I built, but it is much heavier and (atypically) each side is just one piece.

Western European Cabasset

Western European Cabasset circa 1600

Rounded bowl formed in one piece rising to a slight point at the center of the top. Creased along the center and with a small stalk bent backwards at the point. Narrow brim slightly down turned. Brim with inward turn and narrow recess at the edge. Bottom of the helmet bowl with holes for lining rivets. 14 holes. Helmet 7 1/4 inches tall. Inside of bowl 7 inches wide and 8 1/4 inches long. Brim app. 1 inch wide at the sides and app. 1 1/4 inches wide at the front and back point. Acid cleaned. All lining rivets missing. Originally smooth finish. The Royal Armouries bought one of this same series - IV.2018. It is marked with the purported Barberini mark, unlike this one which is unmarked. One of a very large series of morions from a hoard which were sold through Wallis and Wallis in small numbers from 1978 to 2003. The first such example appears to be 26-8 June 1978 lot 1354. This one sold 17 July 1996. [inv. num. A-11]

This shows a comparison of a good, but ordinary cabasset and one of a series that are often sold as real, but which are 20th c. reproductions. I don't know if they were made as fakes originally, but that is what they are now.

Western European Cabasset

Western European Cabasset 20th c. in late 16th c. style

Tall form. Small flattened stalk. Narrow flat brim with rolled edge. Base of skull with row of iron lining rivets with decorative brass washers securing a cloth lining band. One small hole in the brim (probably used to hang the helmet). Indistinct mark on the brim. 8 inches tall. Careful examination shows it was constructed from 2 pieces which were welded together. [inv. num. A-81]


Morion circa 1600

One piece german morion. High crest. Typical brim pointed at the front and back. Edge rolled and roped. Holes for lining and plume holder. There is a hole in the crest and there are 2 patches - one small one in the crest and one larger one on the bottom of the bowl. Both are old and possibly working life patches. Inspection of the surface shows that the surface appears to be nearly original, showing a typical set of rough grinding marks in the finish. This finish would have been polished, but not as well as the original finish on A-184. This is a nice example of a lower quality, but still polished finish. We also see two marks, one on each side of the forhead. One appears to be square, the other forming a small cross. These appear to be marks that would occur from square section weapon impacts. [inv. num. A-67]

This morion includes an internal patch that is almost certainly a working life repair. It might have been necessitated by a problem in manufacture, or it might have been done to fix a problem caused in use.

Full Armour

Full Armour circa c. 1470

A late 15th c. full armour in the German style based on a wooden statue of St. Florian made by Michael Pacher as part of a parish church altarpiece. Salade of typical long tailed form with half visor. Bevor with a single falling lame at the top. Two piece breast and back with the lower plates rising to characteristic gothic points. Breast flutes and cusped edge treatments mimicing the statue. The breast and back carry a fauld and cullet, the fauld with a pair of tassets. A pair of symmetric pauldrons with besagues at the front, floating elbows and closed vambraces. Gauntlets with pointed cuffs, wrist lame, metacarpal of one small and one large plate, bluntly pointed knuckes, and individual finger and thumb with knuckle gadlings. All parts with characteristic fluting. Many details like the borders of the upper and lower poleyne plates, lower breastplate border, knee wing fluting and style of hinges specifically copied from the St. Florian statue. Some elements simplified (like the besagues) and others interpreted since they don't appear on the statue (like the bevor and salade). The armour was made for the Frazier International History Museum in Louisville, KY. This armour was built for their historical interpreters to use in arming the knight and longsword and pollaxe combat demonstrations. It was custom tailored for one of the interpreters, Tony Dingman. When it was made Tony was app. 6' tall and had a 38 inch chest. Made in 2007 by Jeffrey Hedgecock. Hardened and tempered 1050 steel. This and the other armour from the Frazier (R-42) were deacessioned after a change in focus. Sometime before the armour was purchased the sollerets were lost. Other obvious damage from its time at the Frazier include a bent terminal one one poleyne lame, the tip broken off of the other one and the thumb is lost from the left gauntlet where the thumb side of the hinge tore off. The stand used by the Frazier to display this armour was included with the purchase.

Weights: Salade 6 pounds 1 ounce (2750g), Bevor 1 pound 11.2 ounces (775g), Breastplate with fauld and 4 tassets 8 pounds 2.4 ounces (3690g), Backplate and cullet 5 pounds 1.6 ounces (2310g), Left arm 4 pounds 8.8 ounces (2070g), right arm 4 pounds 8.4 ounces (2055g), left gauntlet 1 pound 4.2 ounces - missing thumb - (570g), right gauntlet 1 pound 6.6 ounces (640g), right cuisse 3 pounds 14 ounces (1765g), left cuisse 3 pounds 14 ounces (1765g), left greave 2 pounds 4.6 ounces (1035g), right greave 2 pounds 5.4 ounces (1065g), mail collar 1 pound 7.6 ounces (670g), mail skirt 4 pounds 0.2 ounces (1820g). All weights as worn with straps, buckles and in the case of the helmet and bevor the linings and the gauntlets the gloves. one thumb, one terminal fleur and sollerets missing. In its current state the plate is 45 pounds 2.7 ounces (20490g) mail 5 pounds 7.9 ounces(2490g) [inv. num. R-43]

The intended use for this piece governs many of the details that set this well in the catagory of a reproduction. It was intended to be used in light demonstration combat, with the audience up close. It was to be used nearly daily and it was made for a specific person. It was not ever going to be used in jousting or any BOTN style combat. It was also made on a schedule and for profit. There was no attempt to even get close to "restoration" or "fake." It is perfectly servicable, and copies the form of the original source well (but not precisely - the most obvious simplification being the besagews) and the various welds included to speed manufacture are visible on the inside.


Salade circa c. 1495

Expertly designed and built by Francois L'Archeveque. Based on A-62 KHM and similar helmets, but not intended as a direct copy. Somewhat simplified with a roll at the lower edge instead of applied copper alloy border. Complete with fine engraved decoration, interior visor reinforce and elegant double heart piercing at the center of the crest. Made by the modern armourer with a really great eye for salades. Formed of mild steel with an intentional thickness change between the top and the sides and back mimicing the construction of the high quality helmets of the time. The general concept was agreed to with Francois, but Francois was allowed to choose the details of the form to make the prettiest salade of this type he could.

Weight: 7 pounds 13.4 ounces (3565g). [inv. num. R-41]

This is a really nice reproduction. Still no attempt at being a fake. This can be compared to the salade that forms part of R-43 which is a perfectly reasonable reproduction.

One gauntlet

One gauntlet circa 1580-1600

One of a pair. Made for the Higgins Armory Museum in the mid 80's by Valerius Armouries (Wade Allen and Aaron Toman) as part of a pair. These were made along with a barbute, great helm, and a pair of 15th c. Italian gauntlets for use in their education program. [inv. num. R-46]

Reproduction Armour

Reproduction Armour circa 1400.

Reproduction armour. Torso armour of plates covered in leather and attached by brass rivets. Made by Wade Allen, Aaron Toman and Charles Davis working as Valerius Armouries. [inv. num. R-14]

This is a piece that Aaron and I made for an SCA customer in the mid 80's. It looks OK at a distance, but it really has something wrong with almost every bit of the armor. We will wander through discussing this.