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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons



Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Armour & Weapons
page 11

that, owing to the expense of manufacture and material, the various portions of the knightly equipment were remade and altered to suit new fashions and requirements. Perhaps still another reason may be found in the carelessness and lack of antiquarian interest in our ancestors, who, as soon as a particular style had ceased to be in vogue, destroyed or sold as useless lumber objects which to-day would be of incalculable interest and value. For these reasons, therefore, we are dependent, for the earlier periods of our subject, upon those illuminated manuscripts and sculptured monuments which preserve examples of the accoutre-ments of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Of these, as far as reliability of date is concerned, the incised monumental brasses and sculptured effigies in our churches are the best guides, because they were produced shortly after the death of the persons they represent, and are therefore more likely to be correct in the details of dress and equipment ; and, in addition, they are often portraits of the deceased. Illuminated manuscripts present more difficulty. The minia-ture painter of the period was often fantastic in his ideas, and was certainly not an antiquary. Even the giants of the Renaissance, Raphael, Mantegna, Titian, and the rest, saw nothing incongruous in arming St. George in a suit of Milanese plate, or a Roman soldier of the first years of the Christian epoch in a fluted breast-plate of Nuremberg make. Religious and historical legends were in those days present and living realities and, to the unlearned, details of antiquarian interest would have been useless for instruc-tive purposes, whereas the garbing of mythical or historical characters in the dress of the period made their lives and actions seem a part of the everyday life of those who studied them. This being the case, we must use our judgement in researches among illustrated manuscripts, and must be prepared for ana-chronisms. For example, we find that in the illustrated Froissart in the British Museum, known as the ' Philip de Commines ' copy,1 the barrier or ' tilt ' which separated the knights when jousting 1 Harl. MS. 4379, Brit. Mus. INTRODUCTION 13

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