Barbary Corsair c17th - Armour?

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Jim
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Barbary Corsair c17th - Armour?

Post by Jim »

Hi

I've just finished making my Barbary Corsair outfit but was wondering, does anyone know what armour, if any, I could get away with wearing?

Obviously the voluminous pantaloons enable me to wear my leather leg harness without it being visible, but what about visible armour?

Would a corsair have worn, for instance, any mail (I have a mail skirt and a standard at the moment) or possibly even a breast plate (I have a metal one c15th, and a leather one)?

What about gauntlets? I want to protect my hands, and I do have some black leather gauntlets which I'm hoping I could wear for safety reasons without compromising my authenticity too much.

So, what do you think - from the perspective of visible armour, and from that of the invisible stuff I could wear for safety?

Any pointers would be appreciated.

Cheers!
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Phil the Grips
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Post by Phil the Grips »

From the mid C17th armour is pretty much redundant except for the odd metal hat, and breastplate for cavalrymen, and reduced to ceremonial use even then, in the main.

The gorget, the longest lasting piece of armour, turned into a symbolic object of rank rather than a defensive piece and embroidery/lacing/frogging came to be symbolic of these old bits of kit (either representing points or matchcord on epaulettes, for example).

This is mainly down to firearms, then tactical issues then add fighting on a boat and armour is even more unlikely.

Frm amodern persepective combat is relatively simple- most early medieval and post medieval groups that do competitive combat manage- you're just going to have to tone it down a lot if you are used to everyone being armoured.

You may also have to check any insurance/risk assessments you have as, if you have stated you use something like "jack, hat and hands" when fighting you may be in trouble doing a period where this is not possible.
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Jim
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Post by Jim »

Yeah I figured visible armour would largely be out of the equation.

Thanks for the response though. :)
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grahamp
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Post by grahamp »

Hmm think about it, pirates on ships, the possiblilty of getting knocked overboard, the last thing you'd want to wear is any armour to help you sink down in the briny on your way to Davy Jones Locker! I've never seen metal armour of any kind worn by any pirate in my books, but if someone has please feel free to direct me to there source!
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