Question on wearing of chainmail

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Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby kevin714 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 1:46 am

In this depiction is he wearing a mail shirt and a "bishops collar" on top of it? Was this how a bishop's collar was worn? Or is this something else? Any info on the wearing of chainmail by the Irish nobility and or hobilars/horseman of this time period(or earlier) would be appreciated. Also does anyone know were to purchase a spear of this length and type that would be accurate for the period?
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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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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby finnobreanan on Sun Oct 12, 2008 2:04 am

kevin714 wrote:In this depiction is he wearing a mail shirt and a "bishops collar" on top of it? Was this how a bishop's collar was worn? Or is this something else? Any info on the wearing of chainmail by the Irish nobility and or hobilars/horseman of this time period(or earlier) would be appreciated. Also does anyone know were to purchase a spear of this length and type that would be accurate for the period?

Kevin,

Yes, this is posibly a "Bishop's Collar" of chain mail that he is wearing. It could also be a coif that is under the hemet though, which is frequently diplayed in tomb art of the Norman-Irish. Note: he is using the traditional Irish "over hand" use of a spear, as apposed to the Norman/English under the arm style of fighting. He also wears spurs (traditional Norman), but does not have stirrups (Irish tradition of riding).

Yes, you can obtain reproduction spears and staffs of this form. Ask Boyd Rankin at:
http://www.irisharms.ie/home.htm
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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby kevin714 on Sun Oct 12, 2008 9:17 pm

Thanks I believe this depiction even though it is of an "Anglo-Irish" noble it is apparent he has "gone native" in my opinion. And I believe there would be no difference between this and what a Gaelic Irish noble could or would look like. The picture is supposedly from 1578. And I have read that the Gaelic Irish also used spurs but sometimes on their barefeet. He has an irish saddle and clearly everything about him is native irish including like you said how he holds his spear overhand. Please correct me if anyone thinks I am wrong on this. And I would like to know if anyone knows for sure if this is a bishops mantle and how it was worn for I do not see any evidence of a coif on him.
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: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby frodo on Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:12 pm

It is both a Bishops Mantle and a later period illustration. The bishops mantle is often closed at the back with a buckle as they often (in reenactment circles) have what looks like a leather dog collar at the top. It more like ly a bishops mantle as opposed to an aventail as there is a very similar helmet in the Ulster Museum which has no fixings for one at the bottom. How the spear is held is not a regional thing as there are illustrations dating back centuries before htis from all over the world of the spear being held over arm, see the illustrations of David and Goliath. Replicas of this sort of Armour and the spear could be purchased from www.gdfb.co.uk as their spear heads much resemble this and their maile would be ideal.
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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby kevin714 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:13 pm

frodo wrote:It is both a Bishops Mantle and a later period illustration. The bishops mantle is often closed at the back with a buckle as they often (in reenactment circles) have what looks like a leather dog collar at the top. It more like ly a bishops mantle as opposed to an aventail as there is a very similar helmet in the Ulster Museum which has no fixings for one at the bottom. How the spear is held is not a regional thing as there are illustrations dating back centuries before htis from all over the world of the spear being held over arm, see the illustrations of David and Goliath. Replicas of this sort of Armour and the spear could be purchased from http://www.gdfb.co.uk as their spear heads much resemble this and their maile would be ideal.


Thank you, The reason the way the spear is held "is" a regional thing in this case is because during this time period very few cultures did not use stirrups. The gaelic Irish did not for the most part use them up to the seventeenth century. You are right about holding the spear overhand being worldwide at one time. That was because they had no stirrups. I believe they were invented in China and did not make it to Europe until the late Dark ages I think. I don't know the exact time period. They had not been invented in David and Goliath's time.
What do you mean it is a later period illustration? Later than 1578? Thats the date I have for it.
Do you have a picture of the helmet from the Ulster Museum?
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"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: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby frodo on Thu Oct 16, 2008 12:47 am

http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/the-coll ... -medieval/ For the Helmet although a little ealier than the illustration the similarities are easy to spot. By later period I did mean 1578 which for the periods I generally look at is somewhat later. This example from the worms bible of 1148 http://keep4u.ru/imgs/b/080116/aa/aa1ac ... 6edf8f.jpg. Also this example from the Bayeux Tapestry http://www.geocities.com/beckster05/Has ... nMound.jpg and http://www.kylesociety.org/pic/beayeaux ... ecolor.jpg. I hope that clears things up a bit also look at this http://images.google.co.uk/imgres?imgur ... l%26sa%3DN.
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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby azure on Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:42 am

Don't you just love the spiked horseshoes??

Just a note of caution - from my memory, there is a series of illustrations the image above appears in, and in several of them noteable figures from different time periods appear in exactly the same armour. Either the same armour was passed down through several generations becoming at the end almost ceremonial, or else the illustrator considered that noble people wore this kind of armour and was depicting an idea rather than contemporary realilty.

As far as I remember, the armour that is duplicated is not the one in this particular image, but it would still be useful to look at the whole series to get a good context for the one you are interested in.
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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby kevin714 on Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:03 pm

azure wrote:Don't you just love the spiked horseshoes??

Just a note of caution - from my memory, there is a series of illustrations the image above appears in, and in several of them noteable figures from different time periods appear in exactly the same armour. Either the same armour was passed down through several generations becoming at the end almost ceremonial, or else the illustrator considered that noble people wore this kind of armour and was depicting an idea rather than contemporary realilty.

As far as I remember, the armour that is duplicated is not the one in this particular image, but it would still be useful to look at the whole series to get a good context for the one you are interested in.


Do you know were I could view the whole series of illustrations you are speaking of?
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: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby azure on Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:31 pm

There was a really comprehensive article on them in Irish Arts magazine a few years back, which is where I got them. However, the book they are from is in Trinity College and the shop there has a range of postcards with the various images on...at least they did last time I was there. No doubt they are on line too, but I can't remember the name of the book off hand to search - will check that back copy of Irish Arts over the weekend, unless anyone here knows it???
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Re: Question on wearing of chainmail

Postby wiblick on Tue Nov 11, 2008 2:53 pm

http://www.irishartsreview.com/html/vol ... eature.htm

this is a link to the article text although they have not reproduced the images. Although I imagine this is one from it, on the front cover
http://www.irishartsreview.com/html/vol ... 21_no4.htm

and a couple of more images, embedded on TCD web pages, open the image and they'll be on the right hand side of the page displayed.
http://images.google.ie/images?um=1&hl= ... e+burgo%22


Quote below, putting it in quote box makes it go all freaky.


Although tentative comparisons have been suggested between some of the secular images and knights depicted on some 16th-century tombstones, there appears to be nothing distinctively Irish about these paintings. The identity of the artist is unknown, and no secular examples of similar work from the 16th century survive in Irish manuscripts. The closet surviving parallel for Ireland is the collection of seventeen illustrations on the Waterford Charter Roll (c.1373) produced two centuries earlier.13 Like the Waterford Charter Roll, the Burke portraits may have been intended to impress an English as well as an Irish audience (see Irish Arts Review, Spring 2004). Though usually discussed as an example of what ‘might have been’ �the�velopment of Irish painting, given the patron’s a�e�to �tivate his contacts at the London court, the possibility that Sir Seaán Mac�ive�s Bur�brought in outside expertise cannot be completely ruled out.
I am off active duty for 2009 & 2010. I continue to research but will be attending few if any shows for these two years. I got some chickens and hope to bring them along with a more fully rounded household display in 2011.
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