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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 44

This assertion is not made without fully considering the real value of such work, which must fulfil all those essentials without which no true work of craftsmanship can have any merit. The first of these is that the work should fulfil its object in the best possible manner ; secondly, that it should be convenient and simple in use ; thirdly, that it should proclaim its material ; and fourthly, and this is by no means the least important, that any decoration should be subservient to its purpose. To take our axioms in the order given, it may appear to the casual student that if armour were sufficiently thick it would naturally'fulfil its FIG. 24. Maximilian breastplate and taces. FIG. 25. Coude or Elbow-cop. primary reason for existence. But we find, on careful examination of plate armour, that there are other considerations jwhich are of equal, if not greater importance. Of these the most noticeable is the ' glancing surface '. It is somewhat difficult to exemplify this by a line-drawing, though it is easy to do so with an actual example. Referring to the Maximilian breastplate (Fig. 24), we find that a lance, the thrusting weapon much favoured in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, would, on striking the breast be deflected along the grooved channel nearest to the point of impact till it reached the raised edge either at the top or at the sides, when it would be conducted safely off the body of the wearer. The same surface is to be noticed on all helms and helmets after the twelfth century, the rounded surfaces giving nò sure hold FFOULKES Ο CHAP. Ill THE WEARING OF ARMOUR 49

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