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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 63

a'later period these taces were held together by sliding rivets, which allowed a certain amount of vertical play. Plate armour, during the earlier years of the fifteenth century, was naturally in a somewhat experimental state, and we find frequent examples of the old forms and fashions in contemporary representations. About the year 1440 appears a distinct style, called ' Gothic ', which, of all types of defensive armour, is perhaps the most graceful. This term, ' Gothic,' is as inappropriate, in the rela-tion which it bore, to armour as to architecture ; but its use is so general that we must perforce adopt it for want of a better. The salient points of Gothic armour are the sweeping lines embossed on its surfaces (Plate VIII). The cuirass is generally made in two pieces, an upper and a lower, which allows more freedom for the body. From the taces are hung Tassets, ending in a point towards the lower edge. The later form of Gothic breastplate is longer, and the taces fewer in number. Armour was so frequently remade to suit later fashions, or, from lack of antiquarian interest, so often destroyed, that there is little of this Gothic armour existing in England, except those suits which have been acquired from the Continent by private collectors or public museums. Almost all of them are incomplete, or, if com-plete, have been restored—particularly the leg armour—at a recent date. Perhaps the finest example of this style is to be found on the ' Beauchamp ' effigy in St. Mary's Church, Warwick. Space will not allow of a full account of the documents connected with the making of this magnificent figure, which was executed by Will. Austin, a bronze-founder, and Bartholomew Lambespring, a goldsmith, in 1454, fifteen years after the death of the Earl. All these interesting details are given very fully in Blore's Monumental Remains. To students of the constructional side of armour this monument is particularly valuable because all the fastenings, rivets, and straps are conscientiously portrayed, not only on the front, but also at the back. Charles Stothard, the antiquary, when making drawings of the figure for his work on Monumental Effigies, turned it over and discovered this example of the care and technical CHAP. IV PLATE ARMOUR 69

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