Shield strapping arrangement

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mac (crucesignati)

Shield strapping arrangement

Postby mac (crucesignati) » Tue May 22, 2007 10:51 pm

I'm keen to know how everyone straps their shields (including the angle of the arm/padded guige) and the research behind the choice. There are many different references and contemporary illustrations along with lots of supposition.
My main interest is in the late 13th and mid 14th centuries. Do you think strapping was varied depending upon the individual/manufacturer/main type of combat used with shield? Or was it all the same - what do you all use?
Pictures posted would be a great help as would refences to contemporary sources.

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Neil of Ormsheim
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Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Thu May 24, 2007 5:19 pm

On my late 13th/early14th century heater type shield I have the elbow strap just about level with where the edge of the shield starts to curve in towards the point and the hand strap about 30 degrees up from horizontal. Both straps are at a slightly obtuse angle in relatationship to the vertical of the shield.

This arrangement has evolved over many years of having to fight with Kite shields at Hastings and a heater shield is a direct derivative of the kite. I find this arrangement both comfortable and manoueverable giving me maximum protectction for minimum circulation loss in my left arm.

Lurv 'n' Kizzez

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Postby Fillionous » Fri May 25, 2007 10:07 am

Might be worth talking to John of Shields and Shoes (he has a banner on this site)

He is pretty knowledgable about re-enactment shields and probably is a store of knowledge about autheni strappings...

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Orathanni tal ka Zarness - Blessings of the Stars - for heraldry, shields and banners.

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Postby saxon » Thu May 31, 2007 5:00 pm

Mac ....... could probably be a combination of fixings i.e. personal choice or a 'mass produced' batch with standardised strapping, best to go with what suits you and the angle you wish to hold the shield at.

couple of examples of ones I've made previously -
picture 18-longHstraps.jpg
picture 24-round-straps.jpg
picture 57-roundstraps.jpg

mac (crucesignati)

Postby mac (crucesignati) » Fri Jun 01, 2007 8:42 am

thanks for the images, I (we) are playing around with a number of ideas at the mo. Have you ever used a shield (the heater example in your shots) with the guige (I think this is the term for the big strap) around your neck during combat? A lot of contemporary and modern images appear to show it thus.

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baron rojo
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Postby baron rojo » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:04 am

i`ve found that the guige strap works fine so long as you make sure its the right length, you could as so look at timothy from conquests web site as it has a verygood artical on this.

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Neil of Ormsheim
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Postby Neil of Ormsheim » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:46 am

Whilst there may be images of warriors using shields strapped to their bodies, it is a bad idea on a re-enactment field. The reason is simple - axemen! They will reach out with their weapon( :oops: ), hook it around the strap and pull you into their army where you will be hacked to glorious gobbets( :shock: ).
The straps are great for carrying your shield around when it is not in use but always make sure that it is tucked up tight out of the way during combat, for the axeman cometh!

Lurv 'n' Kizzez

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Mark GRaves
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Postby Mark GRaves » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:54 am

Heater - as the above picture - 2 straps (enarmes) plus guige if required. On mine the top (hand grip ) strap is closer to the top corner of the shield than the above. Guige uses the top rivet of each enarme, rather than being rivetted separately.

I tend to put a buckle on the lower enarm - may not be authentic though.

Even better, two enarmes for the hand, in an X or )( configuration, with the later you are pulling to two together, which seems to afford better control.

Make sure you make the the leatherwork wide enough - too narrow is more difficult to control and downright uncomfortable.

Now if anyone wants to discuss strapping of kites, especially for cavalry use - that's a whole different bouilloire de poisson.

Mark Graves
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Conroi du Burm - "The Conroi du Burm is not dead, just sleeping under a hill until needed."

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strapping on shields

Postby stephen_hathway » Fri Jun 01, 2007 7:40 pm

hello all

myself I like to use rings and rope on my heater shield
fix points as pic three above
I attach the rope to the first ring above the upper forearm
then pass the rope over my forarm and through the ring,
lower forearm ,then up towards the ring above my hand
then acrose the palm of my hand and through the last
ring and back to my hand.
the rope must be a suitable thickness to hold
pull the lot up tight, and away to go.
I use this method so I can dump my shield quickly
just by letting go of the rope.
good for weapons chageing ,and running away.
I woud post a pic but I do not know how.
as for strapping a shield to you, I used to do this with a round shield
straped to my back, and useing another in frount.
I found this to be good in large battles. but agree that if the shield
is hooked or held it can be a problem and I have had
the wind knocked out of me when the dane axeman
give you a tap on the back
thank heaven I am in plate now.

one day you are the windshield
the next day you are the bug

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Postby saxon » Fri Jun 01, 2007 9:36 pm

Lots of different combinations as has been said, and as also said most are to suit the individual ............. everybody's body is different - as it were !

The 'guige' is quite often only shown as being around the neck on horse mounted Knights ............ and is as said quite a good target to aim for to pull somebody over or off a horse :shock: the strapping arrangement could also depend on the depth of curvature of the shield as well.

Mark - totally agree ! kite shield strapping is a different ball game altogether !

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