15th century Milanese Armour.

Mild Steel

Milanese armour
Note: this picture was taken before the gauntlets were finished.

I feel that this is the most historically accurate full suit of armour I have made to date. In the paragraphs below you will find links to close up photos of the armour's individual pieces and more information on the originals.

The bulk of the design for this suit came from the armour of a Governor of Matsch from Churburg often refered to as the "Avant Armour." It was made in Milan about 1450 and now resides in the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in Scotland. I drew from many suits and individual pieces to help create a suit that I feel would not look out of place in mid 15th century Europe.

The strongest influence for the helmet, known as an "armet a` rondelle", came from an original dated about 1475 from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. For the arms I studied several from the Kienbusch Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, c1460. The legs are an extrapolation from the above mentioned Churburg harness and from a suit made for Frederick I, Elector Palatin, made in the Missaglia workshop, c1450-5

As was common for European armour in history, this suit is asymmetrical. The wearer of armour was most likely to be struck on his left side, as most opponents would be right handed. The left side shoulder is reinforced with a thick plate called a "gardbrace," while the right shoulder is notched to allow for the "couching" of a lance in the arm pit. Hinges, being stronger than straps, are used down the left side to hold the breast plates, back plates and fauld together while the right side buckles to allow the wearer to put on the armour.

For comfort while in the saddle, the back of the legs are not covered in steel plates. Very few suits had armour on the back of the upper legs, rare examples that did were usually reserved for sport ground combat in tournaments.

Milanese Helmet Milanese arms Milanese legs Gardbrace Pauldrons Armour straps Back of armour

I am currently making another Milanese armour which is quite similar to this harness. I will add some photos of the suit as it progresses.

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