Photo essay: Military matters

There wasn’t quite so much armour-gazing on this trip. Previously I’ve collected some great photos from the Tower of London, the Royal Armoury at Leeds and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, all of which house some wonderful armour and attendant equipment. But there were some amazing pieces in the Wallace Collection, in London, notably the horse armour, as well as the Yorkshire Museum. Here are some of the astonishing pieces I saw … some captioned, some not, but all telling a fabulous story!

 

yorkhelmet

The York helmet, in amazing condition. Anglo-Saxon magnificence.

shield

 

mailcollar

 

knight

 

horsemanshammer

This is a horseman’s hammer. Skeletal remains from various battlefields bear witness to its efficiency in despatching a downed enemy – or a helpless prisoner.

horsearmour5

 

horsearmour3

 

horsearmour2

 

horsearmour

 

hornbelt

This is an elaborate harness for the carrying of a horn. The harness attaches to a belt and the horn clips onto the hooks.

hilt2

Indian, this one, not European, so not directly relevant — but beautiful!

hilt

 

gillingswordhiltYork

 

fightbookcluny

How much did I want to break the glass case and look at every page of this astonishing 14th century fight manual?

charlemagnespur

A dress spur belonging to Charlemagne, circa 800 AD. My mind continues to boggle …

batleth

Another Asian piece. Doesn’t it look like a batleth?

archerwristguard

And here we have a Tudor archer’s leather wrist guard. Amazing.

 

This last one is of course well out of period, but I include it because I think it’s extraordinary. Would you believe these are Roman era feet protectors? Roman soldiers wore open sandals …

romanfeetguards

 

 

 

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