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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 68

some of the dignified simplicity of the plain metal was lost. An instance of this proper application of ornament to armour is to be found in the ' Seusenhofer ' suit in the Tower (Plate VI), made to the order of the Emperor Maximilian for Henry VIII. It is one of the finest suits of this period in existence. The orna-ment is lightly engraved all over it, and includes representations of the legends of St. George and St. Barbara. Instead of taces and tassets the lower part of the body and the thighs are protected by steel Bases made in folds to imitate the skirts worn in civilian dress. It will be remembered that in the preceding chapter a con-versation between Seusenhofer and the young Maximilian was quoted, and when we study this suit carefully we feel that the young king did wisely in the choice of his master-armourer. The craftsman's Poinçon or mark is to be found at the back of the helmet. If space but permitted we might devote many pages to the work of the great armour-smiths as exemplified in the armouries of Madrid and Vienna. It is difficult, at this period of history, to generalize at all satisfactorily. Each suit is, in many ways, distinct from its neighbour, just as the character and personality of the wearers differed. The young Maximilian's words to Seusenhofer, 'Arm me according to my own taste,' is true of every suit that we examine, for it is evident that each man had his own favourite fashion or, from physical necessity, was provided with some special variation from the usual form. An instance of this may be noted in the Barendyne helm at Haseley Church, near Thame, in which an extra plate has been added at the lower edge of the helm to suit the length of neck of the last wearer. As the experience of the armourer increased, and as the science of war developed, the armed man trusted more to the fixed defences of his person than to the more primitive protection of the movable shield. In the tilt-yard and also in war the mounted man en-deavoured to present his left side to his adversary. On considera-tion the reason for this will be plain, for the right arm was required to be free and, as far as possible, unhampered by heavy armour, but CHAP. IV PLATE ARMOUR 75

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