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Fashion in European Armor, 1500–1600

Fashion in European Armor, 1500–1600

At the turn of the fifteenth to the sixteenth century, one of the most startling changes in taste and fashion occurred, which was immediately mirrored in armor and can best be witnessed in the German harness of the period. Through what appears to ...


Tonlet Harness of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

Tonlet Harness of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

This harness is part of a larger garniture (with exchange pieces) in Madrid's royal armoury. Named for its tonlet, a skirt that protects the wearer, it was used exclusively for unmounted combat in tournaments. It consists of a close helmet, go...


"KD Garniture" Harness of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

"KD Garniture" Harness of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

This harness for field or tournament is one of the better-known and more elegant examples of the 16th century armourer's craft. Built as a complete harness with pieces of exchange (extra pieces that could replace or be added to the harness for...


"Valladolid Garniture" Tournament Armour of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

"Valladolid Garniture" Tournament Armour of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Aragon, Castile, Naples, Sicily, and ruler of territories in Burgundy (1500-1558)

As the grandson of Maximilian I, Charles V had access to the great armour workshop at Augsburg, headed by members of the Helmschmid family. Kolman Helmschid (1471-1532) seems to have been a favorite armourer of Charles V, and several of Charles...


Helmet (Sallet)

Helmet (Sallet)

Helmet (Sallet) Date: late 15th–early 16th century Geography: possibly Granada Culture: Spanish, possibly Granada Medium: Steel, gold, silver, enamel Dimensions: H. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm); ...


Techniques of Decoration on Arms and Armor

One important aspect in the study and appreciation of arms and armor is the techniques and methods for their decoration. The wide range of materials used in the creation of these objects is equaled by the varied possibilities for adding to the aes...


Fire Gilding of Arms and Armor

Gilding is the application of gold to the surface of some other material. Many techniques exist for doing this. A surface may be inlaid with gold wire (often referred to as damascening), or overlaid with thin sheets of gold attached mechanically, ...


The Decoration of European Armor

Some of the earliest decorated armor was produced during the Celtic Bronze Age in Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia, and the area of modern-day France, Germany, and Austria. Especially famous are the shields found at Battersea and Winchelsea,...


The Decoration of Arms and Armor

With few exceptions, arms and armor of virtually all periods and from all the world’s cultures were decorated to varying degrees. The desire to embellish objects of everyday and special use was naturally extended to those that served such im...


Feudalism and Knights in Medieval Europe

  From the ninth to the early eleventh centuries, invasions of the Magyars from the east, Muslims from the south, and Vikings from the north struck western Europe. This unrest ultimately spurred greater unity in England and Germany, but i...


The Function of Armor in Medieval and Renaissance Europe

Although today appreciated as works of art or as examples of historical technology, it must be noted that all armor, whether used in warfare, tournaments, or parades, once had a “working lifetime.” Often these objects have been subject...


Arms and Armor in Medieval Europe

European warriors of the early Middle Ages used both indigenous forms of military equipment and arms and armor derived from late Roman types. One of the most widely used types of helmet was the Spangenhelm. Body armor was usually either a short-sl...


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