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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons

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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 

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FFOULKES C.
Armour & Weapons
page 59



the country at the present day by rolling chains in them. The mending and cleaning of armour was of the first importance, and the travelling knight took with him an armourer who was provided with such things as ' oil for dressing my lord's harness, a thousand armyng nayles (rivets) a payre of pynsores, pomyshe (pumice stone), fylles, a hammer and all other stuffe and tools belonginge to an armorer '.* We can gather but little of the methods of the armourers in their work. It was so important a craft that its operations were most jealously guarded, and the term ' Mystery ', which was applied to the Trade Gilds of the Middle Ages, can be most fittingly given to that of the armour-smith. In the Weisskunig of Hans Burgkmair, the noted German engraver, appears an interesting woodcut of the young Maximilian in the workshop of Conrad Seusenhofer, the famous armourer. In the text the master-smith is described as being anxious to make use of the ' forbidden art ', but the young king replies, ' Arm me according to my own taste, for, it is I, not you, who have to take part in the tournament.' What this forbidden art may have been we have no suggestion given us. It seems, from this account, to be more than likely that Seusenhofer possessed some mechanical means for stamping out armour plate ; for it goes on to say, ' So this young King invented a new art for warriors' armour, so that in the workshop 30 front pieces and 30 hinder pieces were made at once. How wonderful and skilful was this King ! ' A most interesting album of designs by one ' Jacobe ', who has been identified by the late Herr Wendelin Boeheim as Jacobe Topf, is now, after many vicissitudes, in the Art Library of the Victoria and Albert Museum, South Kensington. From the somewhat naïve treatment of the designs they can hardly be considered to be working drawings, but were more probably sketches submitted to the different patrons of the armourer and kept for reference. The Album has been reproduced in facsimile, with a preface giving its history and verifying the suits drawn on its pages, by Viscount 1 Arch. Journ., vol. lx. FFOULKES E CHAP, πι THE WEARING OF ARMOUR 65


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