Shield opinion

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Re: Shield opinion

Postby kevin714 on Sun Nov 07, 2010 11:46 pm

To be fair in the description of the shield there is evidence on your side that it did not have a boss but I hardly think this is conclusive in and of itself just the observers opinion also. This was also presented to Joe Lindsey and discussed between us. Perhaps we need a fresh look at it from modern experts. Does anyone have any better pictures of it? Has anyone seen it in person? Is it on display?

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Shield in the Collection of Mr. D.M. Bell (plate xxxii,
frontal full view only) - A very beautiful shield was lent
to the Art and Industrial Division of the National Museum by
Mr. David M. Bell, of Belfast, in 1914. Mr. Bell had obtained
it from a member of the Hamilton-Rowan family, in whose
possession it had been for many years. It is a circular shield,
19 inches in diameter, approximating to that of the shield which
in Scotland is known as the targe. The material is deer-hide laid
down on two plies of thin board, arranged so that the grain of one
crosses that of the other at right angles--to prevent warping.
It bears an elaborate scheme of impressed interlaced ornament,
consisting of three broad concentric rings, each divided into
four equal parts by two lines running entirely across the shield
at right angles to each other, and thus dividing it into twelve
separate compartments of interlacing. All the four panels into
which each is divided contain the same interlaced design : but
the design in each ring is different from that in the other two.
The whole scheme is very beautiful, and it has been very
skilfully worked out. Rows of brass nails, many of which are
now missing, outlined the panels, thus making four complete
circles of nails, and four straight lines, running from the
outer edge towards the centre. In addition there were two
groups of three nails each in each of the four panels of the
innermost ring. There is no umbo, or boss, nor is there any
trace of anything of the kind being applied to the centre,
which is quite flat and undecorated, save for the crossing
of the impressed lines above mentioned.
Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the ancient sword is O'Molloy of the freeborn name, full power was granted to him and he held his country uncontrolled" O'Dugain(d.1372 AD)
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Re: Shield opinion

Postby Swifty on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:08 am

kevin714 wrote:Here are pictures of the back. As far as the boss goes again I defer to Mr Lindseys expert eye and opinion on it. I'm sure he has seen his fair share of targes and it does appear that there is a nice spot for one right were it should be, this together with the fact that the only other targe from that period clearly has a brass boss puts the evidence strongly in favor of it having a boss in my humble opinion. It would look like it was missing something to me if it just had that empty space in the middle of the circle of tacks. Perhaps just one large tack in the center would work but other than that if it was meant to be exposed I would think there would be a design there like more knot work or something. But we are all entitled to our opinion and we can agree to disagree. I am very happy with what I have.

Thanks - back looks good with the hair still on the hide as was most often the case - for handles I prefer the centrally held taut-type - better for offensive use and keeps the fist in a safer spot. On the boss end of things - yeah I have no doubt that Mr Lindsay has seen his fair share of targes - but they will have been Scottish 17th/18thC targes - not Irish 16thC specimens. The boss on the O'Donovan targe is semi-spherical - not conical. Anyway fair play to both you and Mr Lindsey - it's a fine bit of work and a targe to be proud of - as you quite rightly say each to his own and in the overall scheme of things these are indeed but trifling differences in taste and opinion and neither view is 'wrong' per se!
D Swift www.claiomh.ie c.795-1660
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Re: Shield opinion

Postby Swifty on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:12 am

kevin714 wrote:To be fair in the description of the shield there is evidence on your side that it did not have a boss but I hardly think this is conclusive in and of itself just the observers opinion also. This was also presented to Joe Lindsey and discussed between us. Perhaps we need a fresh look at it from modern experts. Does anyone have any better pictures of it? Has anyone seen it in person? Is it on display?

Unfortunately neither of the targes are in the National Collections - either north or south - so they are not on public display. I hope to track one of them down in the not-too-distant future!
D Swift www.claiomh.ie c.795-1660
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Re: Shield opinion

Postby kevin714 on Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:44 am

Let me know if you ever track one down I would love to see some color pictures. BTW I sent your recommendations for the scian scabbard to Arms and Armor so they could incorporate your suggestions,thanks for that.
Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the ancient sword is O'Molloy of the freeborn name, full power was granted to him and he held his country uncontrolled" O'Dugain(d.1372 AD)
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Re: Shield opinion

Postby kevin714 on Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:07 pm

In this description of the O'Donovan targe it quotes Spenser as saying the Irish used "round leather targets coloured after the Spanish fashion" Can anyone explain what "coloured after the spanish fashion" is and or what it looked like?
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O'Donovan shield.jpg
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Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the ancient sword is O'Molloy of the freeborn name, full power was granted to him and he held his country uncontrolled" O'Dugain(d.1372 AD)
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