Leather Gauntlets

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stanley-welsh-levy
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Leather Gauntlets

Post by stanley-welsh-levy »

Hi First time posting here. Portray 15th century soldiers in WOTRF
One of my members has recently come to me asking about leather gauntlets and if they are authentic.
Did quite a bit of research (probably not enough) came up with lots of other leather armour but no gauntlets.

Main question is, is there historical evidence of leather gauntlets around the period?

posted on facebook but thought i'd widen the knowledge base.
cheers

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wulfenganck
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by wulfenganck »

What do you mean exactly?
Actually AFAIK there is only rare evidence for leather armour in general. The cuir boully (or however that's written) is an example, but for the 15th ct plate, brigandine, mail-shirts and voiders are definitely the majority of armour. YOu'll find lots of examples for covered breastplates, mainly in french, burgundian, flemish and english illustrations, but it seems like the fabric was rather some sort of velvet instead of leather.
Now for gauntlets, of course there are leather gauntlets. YOu'll have three-fingered and five-finegered versions, worn for hunting, worn by soldiers underneath their mitten opr plate-gauntlets etc. Plenty of illustrations for that. The leather gauntlets worn underneath mittens or fingered gauntlets were usually sewn to the plate-gauntlet, at least at thre thumb.
But if you mean those thick-padded modern types with thick boiled, bee-waxed or otherwise hardened leather in use in reenactment battles (for example for early medieval or viking protrayals), I'd say reenactorism.

Marcus Woodhouse
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

It's news to me as well, at least in western Europe and most of the middle east, padded armours such as jacks and metal, either as harness or maille was the norm.
What Wulf says about leather gauntlets under mittens or plate holds true, other wise illustartions show most people going without any kind of hand protection. However the fact that we all work, drive, type and therefore need fingers still attached to our hands on Monday morning means that wearing leather gaintlets om their own would be a re-enactorisim I could live with.
Of course ther are leather gauntlets that "look" the part and ones that are just shite but that's another issue.
OSTENDE MIHI PECUNIAM!

stanley-welsh-levy
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by stanley-welsh-levy »

I figured as much.
I would make sure said member had appropriately styled ones, rather than some god aweful pop rivetted rubbish.
Its a question i get asked alot as being in a university group many people either don't want to save up for metal hand protection,
or can't afford it full stop. Yet they still want something more than just gloves.
If anyone does find anything i shall keep watching.
cheers

p.s to clarify when i say gauntlet i mean outer hand protection more than just a glove.

Man from Coventry
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by Man from Coventry »

My understanding is that crude soft leather gauntlets (effectively thick gloves) and mittens existed, there was a find from London ? which is featured in one of the "Dragons" on the Company of St George website. Whether these were worn in warfare and/ory may have had a degree of padding as with Jacks is debateable, but possible. Equally evidence for leather in jack construction refers to soft leather i.e deerskin rather than hard leather.

I've found nothing to suggest articulated hard leather gauntlets, in similar styles to metal mitten gauntlets ever exexisted in the 15th Century and would concur with Wulfenganck that these are re-enactiorism.

Regards

Mark
A good sword, a trusty hand, a merry heart and true.

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gregory23b
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by gregory23b »

The Dragon glove is a mitten, thin leather and not military, at least it wouldn't protect one from very much.
They are quite easy to make incidentally, as long as you get the thumb part in the correct position. Well worth making a pair, even a mm of leather gives a reenactor a bit of cover and is great for lifting pots etc.


There are a fair images of gloves/mittens etc in nromal use, to keep warm, for status, working in etc, but fighting gauntlets? not sure if you could tell, certainly evidence of leather armour is scant at best.
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Langley
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by Langley »

There are illustrations of split (two fingers in each of two parts plus thumb) mittens in use by workmen carting stone for building I believe. I have a pair of suede welders gauntlets of that construction which I wear under my steel gauntlets. (I too thought I cound not afford steel until getting whacked over the knuckles in training with the Gloucesters bill line. Changed my mind very quickly). If you do go for steel be sure they fit. Do not buy any which do not cover your fingers to the end. The bit of finger sticking out will get chopped off if you get a hit on the back of the gauntlet. Most re-enactors who fight in bill ines seem to wear heavy gloves or mittens to give some hand protection but not stiff leather armour type things. Army artillery gauntlets are pretty good for that. In many mediaeval illustrations you will see very thin leater gloves worn under steel fingered or mitten gauntlets. Paintings and sculp[ture of the period shows these to be so thin you can see knuckle wrinkles and fingernail details. You can still buy gloves of that quality for not a lot of money in street markets in Milan or Madrid. They are so fine at first glance you might believe the person was bare handed.

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The_Kyle
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by The_Kyle »

Image

The glove from the museum of London.

stanley-welsh-levy
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by stanley-welsh-levy »

Cheers for the picture The_Kyle, just a little info please. Is this 15th century? is it a work mans glove?
sorry if you don;t know but cheers all the same.

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The_Kyle
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by The_Kyle »

The blurb in the museum describes it as 15th century, possibly belonging to a labourer working near the Thames, recovered from Southwark.

Langley
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by Langley »

and in the original display it was certainly shown in the context of workmans tools. Not sure where they have it since teh changearound (don't get me started on that...). I certainly think it is a workmans glove - most likely a stone mason.

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Colin Middleton
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Re: Leather Gauntlets

Post by Colin Middleton »

As discussed, there is evidence of leather gloves (and apparently not much evidence of fabric gloves, save for a few eclesiastical ones). The only examples of leather armour of any type that I know of date to the mid to late 13th C, when they are quickly replaced by metal versions. There was a brief fashion IIRC for gloves with lots of small plates rivited to them. Examples using steel and whale-bone were known, but I suspect that boiled leather (all leather armour was boiled BTW) plates will have been used as well. Again that's late 13th C.

By the 15th C, you're looking at steel or quilted fabric, as has been mentioned above.
Colin

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