Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Viking, Saxon, and Early Christian Irish cultures

Moderator: the_power

Any good ?

Looks good
11
57%
OK from 10 feet
4
21%
I'd let that into my gig, if he brought mead
2
10%
Dog rough
2
10%
Car Blanket & Crowbar brigade
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 19

Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby the_power on Sun Feb 01, 2009 7:57 am

Depends on the status of the soldier; I would say most people in an army would have had quite short ones, certainly well above the knee. We hear of exalted clerics with leines down to their ankles. But you can't really run in that; some people suggest that excessive length, like a bound foot, indicates you don't *need* to run/traipse through the mud. As for comparative lengths...I think that's guess work. I didn't plan for one to be any longer than the other, it's just the way it turned out. The wool over-leine is more padding for under the mail. If I was making up non-fighting posh kit, I might make it a lot prettier.

Also, late first millennium professional soldiers (stylized pictorial evidence) and cavalry (only sagas, evidence from earlier societies on the continent) usually wore trousers. In the early Irish context, the trousers seem to be pretty short. By 1170 Geraldus definitely describes them as sometimes wearing longer trousers with "stirrups" to keep the trousers from riding up the leg (and a top-flap to keep the top of the foot warm), so it's possible they were tight, and didn't hang like modern fitted trousers.

It's hard to explain just how valuable cloth was to our ancestors. Even when spinning/weaving was mechanised in Victorian times, Rag and Bone men were still interested in every scrap of fabric you had to give them; tiny offcuts were shredded for respinning into 'shoddy' cloth, larger offcuts were sold for patchwork items, 'tired' rags were ground and added to fertilizer. An extra ten inches of linen on your leine might be an extra months wages...even if it didn't get you in trouble with your betters, for appearing to go above your station by dressing up.

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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby leoghan on Sun Feb 01, 2009 2:24 pm

thank you very much
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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby Guthrum on Mon Feb 02, 2009 5:56 pm

The kit's well on the way there, and makes a good ensemble, but I'd definitely do something about the shield. Even the scabbiest dreng would be embarrased to have one so battle-scarred. :) Whilst it's a pain for us, they'd have probaly replaced them fairly regularly after use - once the edging is gone it's pretty useless against a sharp sword or, even worse, an axe.

I'd fully agree about the value of cloth, it's just not appreciated in modern society. I'd also agree with your comments on the length of the leine - and as a warrior you'd certainly have to take into account the practicalities of length as opposed to purely doing it on status.

The small thistle booch is slightly early (they tend to get laerger in the 10th), but no reason not to have it handed-down through the family. Bossed penannulars popular in the 10th century - but I'm not sure how native Irish that is - fine for Hiberno-Norse and Hebrideans (see my gallery).

My current 'posh' shield is a domed round wooden blank, with a decorated (in authentic colours) rawhide facing, goatskin leather interior facing, stitched rawhide edging, iron grip (ground from a strip of 19th century forged iron I found by an old graveyard) with ash handle, bound in deerskin, and the boss is gilded. (Caused much disbelief that I'd got a 24-carat boss on my combat shield - but then I am fequently portraying a Viking jarl, and it was worth it to see their faces. The gold leaf cost less than a fiver, so in terms of cash spent to kudos gained it was a real investment - just posted a picture in my gallery.) I must admit that when I started I'd never considered that I'd spend over £150 on a combat shield, but it's about as accurate as I can get it, short of hand-carved wooden planking, and it's really effective. The domed shape resists blows much better, and after three seasons I've just got a bit of edge-binding that needs re-stitching - probably my fault for inadequately waterproofing the linen thread. (No Bannerman, I'm not a stitch-counter, but I am a professional archaeologist and I do have to make sure that there is no possible opening for my colleagues to seize upon in their denigrations of re-enacting).
Last edited by Guthrum on Wed Feb 04, 2009 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby brendan on Wed Feb 04, 2009 1:25 am

The shield is definitely a problem - it devalues the rest. And you do have a treatise on Irish sea sea bosses if my memory serves right? :roll: :P
I am not happy with the helm. It looks too 'fresh'. If you are going to stick with leather rather than steel (for the reasons you state) then maybe age the leather a bit? - Bees wax and goose grease!

And yeah, more people need to ask for input.

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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby Billy on Wed Feb 04, 2009 10:26 pm

How is the leather attached to the steel bands? Is it riveted all along the bands, horizontal and vertical, or is it just attached at strategic points?
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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby the_power on Thu Feb 05, 2009 8:12 am

It's attached on all the bands. Though, the leather is sewn together. Next helmet, it won't be.
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Re: Posh irish kit - am I period or not .com ?

Postby Seathrun on Thu Feb 19, 2009 4:45 am

Ok I love the brat color and kudos on the stash. Facial hair is a plus on cool kit set ups. When I get time I want to post my pic up for comments too. I think this is great. Also it is a good way to get some great photos for the Clontarf kit guide.
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Three speeches that are better than silence: inciting a king to battle,spreading knowledge, praise after reward.
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