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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 82



The great jousting saddles have been noticed in the preceding chapter. The reins are protected from being cut by hinged plates, as shown on Plate X.1 These pieces constitute the armour of the horse as usually found in museums and in painting and sculpture. There is, how-ever, in the Zeughaus in Vienna a curious portrait of Harnisch-meister Albrecht, dated 1480. The horse on which he rides is armed completely with plate except for an aperture in the flanchards •for using the spur. The legs are covered with hinged and bolted defences very similar to those of the armour for men. It might be supposed that this was but a fantastic idea of the painter, if Viscount Dillon had not discovered a Cuissard, or thigh-piece, which much resembles those shown on the picture, in the Musée de la Porte de Hal, Brussels. In the days of the Decadence, when the craft of the armourer was to a great extent overwhelmed by the riotous fancy of the decorator, the horse shared with his rider in this display. The armour shown on Plate X, known as the Burgundian armour from the badges of the Emperor Maximilian which adorn it, does not offend in this respect, because the embossing serves to give rigidity to the metal without interfering with its defensive qualities. The same may be said of the barding shown on the Frontispiece, but on Plate IV the loss of dignity in line, and the embossed hemisphere—which, for its purpose, should be smooth—show the beginning of the decay in constructional skill. The highly ornamented pageant armour made for the Elector Christian II, now in the Dresden Museum, though extra-ordinarily perfect in workmanship, should be classed rather as the work of goldsmith or sculptor than as that of the armourer. 1 This is not the ' garde-rein '. See p. 62. CHAP. V HORSE ARMOUR 91


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