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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons

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FFOULKES C.
Armour & Weapons
page 45



for cutting or thrusting weapons. The Coude (Fig. 25) shows this same glancing surface used to protect the elbow, and, again, the fan-shaped plate on the outside of the knee effects the same result (see Frontispiece).1 The great jousting helms are so constructed that the lance-point should glance off them when the wearer is in the proper jousting position, that is, bent forward at such an angle that the eyes come on a level with the ocularium or vision slit (Plate V, 5). These helms are also made of plates varying in thickness as the part may be more exposed to attack. The Great Helm in the possession of Captain Lindsay of Sutton Courtenay, near Abingdon, has a skull-plate nearly a quarter of an inch thick, for, in the bending position adopted by the wearer, this portion of the helm would be most exposed to the lance. The back-plate is less than half that thickness. This helm is one of the heaviest in existence, for it weighs 25 lb. 14 oz. Again, we may notice the overlapping Lames or strips of steel that are so frequently used for Pauldron, Rerebrace, Vambrace, Solerei, and Gauntlet ; all present the same surface to the opposing weapon, and, except in the case of the Taces, where the overlapping from necessity of form must be in an inverse direction, the chance of a weapon penetrating the joints is reduced to a minimum (Fig. 23). A portion of the pauldron which is designed for this glancing defence, and for this only, is the upstanding Neck- or Shoulder-guard which is so generally described as the Passe-guard. It is curious, with the very definite information to hand (supplied by Viscount Dillon in the Archaeo-logical Journal, vol. xlvi, p. 129), that even the most recent writers fall into the same mistake about the name of this defence. Space will not admit of quoting more fully Viscount Dillon's interesting paper ; but two facts cited by him prove conclusively that the 1 The terms ' coude ' and ' genouillière ', ' palette,' and such-like words of French origin, are open to some objection in an English work when ' elbow-cop ' knee-cop ', or ' poleyne ' and ' rondel ' can be substituted. They are only employed here because of their general use in armouries at the present day, and because the English words are of rarer occurrence and are less likely to be met with by those beginning the study of armour. ' Cuisse ' and 'cuissard', however, are always used for the thigh-pieces, and no anglicized term is found in contemporary writings unless it be ' Quysshews.' 50 THE WEARING OF ARMOUR CHAP. Ill


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