Captain Reech wrote:On the bascinet question, is it really a bascinet or an early open sallet or something transitional that doesn't have an exact clasification. I've seen helmets classified as Barbuttes or Sallets that are almost identical to a bascinet, but simply of a later period. I don't think any armourer sat up in the morning and said "Stop producing those, they're out of fashion!" more likely each piece changed subtly to incorporate the features required by the customer.
Can we be sure that the artist didn't put his subject in an early pattern of armour to portray a romantic ideal or simply because he wasn't working from a guy in full kit? t's obvious from some of the renderings we've seen here of banded or coat of plates armours which show no hinges or fastners (Maybe he just couldn't do hinges?) that functional detail wasn't always high on the agenda.
One theory I think is reasonable is that if you could afford a variety of armour you wore what was most appropriate, if you had a full harness and you had time to tool up you'd wear it for a pitched battle but, on a march into enemy held territory for example, you might sacrifice some of the protection in favour of something a little more comfortable (and easier to get away in!), maybe leave the greaves and Back and Breast on the cart and travel in a good brig and plate arms to protect you if you were suprised.
As far as I'm aware they are described as representing Bascinets in the major work on them but that might just be an assumption rather than a certainty, and i do age with the idea that out of fashion doesn't mean out of use or production.
The idea that it was a much earlier armour, being represented for connections to a romantic ideal or a golden age of chivalry or the like is very interesting and you could argue that given the decline of the anglo-irish colonies during the 14th and 15th centuries that it might make sense for them to look back on a time when they were in a better position, with more power stability and wealth. Of course thats all just theories, but still interesting to consider...
Ya the fasteners are a detail that I can easily imagine avoiding, they'd be awkward, not very pretty and mess up the otherwise nice clean lines of the armour.
A lot of what i'm trying to do with this is add in all that functional detail that was left out for artistic reasons, to create what seems like a realistic interpretation of the sculptures, the most likely
form the armour they were based on might have took.
And again i agree with the idea of having armour suited to different tasks, if you were wealthy a COP and full-plate, if not so wealthy maybe just the COP, you would be more comfortable travelling and given fluid nature of warfare in ireland you were likely to be moving a lot but still need the protection, given the possibilities of ambushes.
In fact now that i think about it that seems to make a lot of sense, a cuirass would probably get very uncomfortable over long periods of riding (I imagine, any first hand experience?) while the limbs wouldn't matter as much and what we see is plate arms and legs with a flexible COP, something the rider can have a stretch in, seems ideal for travelling.
If anyone needs me i'll be spinning in my grave...