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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 67

suit are generally of unequal size ; that for the right arm being smaller, to admit of the couching of the lance under the armpit (Fig. 34). The tassets are made in two or more pieces, connected with the strap and sliding rivet described in the preceding chapter. The fluting on the Maximilian armour is not without practical pur-pose, for, besides presenting the ' glancing ' surface, which has been before referred to, it gives increased strength and rigidity without much extra weight. A modern example of this is to be found in the corrugated iron used for roofing, which will stand far greater pressure than will the same thickness of metal used flat. It is at this period of the history of defensive armour that we first find traces of that decadence which later on permeated every art and craft with its pernicious poison. It is to be found in the imitating of fabrics and also of the human face in metal. There exist suits of plate in many museums, both in England and on the Continent, in which the puffings and slashings of the civilian attire are closely copied in embossed metal, entirely destroying the important glancing surfaces on which we have laid such stress. It is alleged that this fashion in civilian dress was intended to suggest, by the cutting of the material to show an undergarment beneath, that the wearer was a fighting man who had seen rough service. If this be the case it is the more reprehensible that metal should be treated in a similar manner ; for hard usage would dent, but it would not tear. A portion of one of these debased suits is drawn on Fig. 42. It must not be supposed that all armour at this period was fluted. There was still a good deal which had a plain surface, and this plain armour continued to be used after the Maximilian armour had been given up. It may have been that the evil genius of the Renaissance pointed to the plain surfaces as ex-cellent fields for the skill of the decorator, a field which the strongly-marked flutings of the Maximilian armour could not offer. At first this decoration was confined to engraved borders, or, if the design covered the whole suit, it was so lightly engraved that the smooth surface was in no way impaired, though perhaps 74 PLATE ARMOUR CHAP. IV

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