Kite Shield Boss??

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Tiddles
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Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Tiddles » Sat Jul 06, 2013 6:05 pm

Why do some Kite shields have a Shield Boss when from what I understand they are strapped the arm. Not held with the hand like a round shield.



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Medicus Matt
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Medicus Matt » Sat Jul 06, 2013 11:11 pm

Tiddles wrote:Why do some Kite shields have a Shield Boss when from what I understand they are strapped the arm. Not held with the hand like a round shield.


Force of habit.
Something to catch and deflect your opponents sword blade with.
Something to smash your opponent in the chops with.

Take your pick. Nobody really knows.


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Tiddles
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Tiddles » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:34 pm

From what I have seen it is more common on the road top kite shield and not seen on the flat top kite shield's.



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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Medicus Matt » Sun Jul 07, 2013 11:42 pm

Tiddles wrote:From what I have seen it is more common on the road top kite shield and not seen on the flat top kite shield's.


I don't think it's as clear cut as that. I know that the famous image of Geoff Plantaganet shows him with a flat top shield with a boss on it. That's mid 12th century.


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Dingo8MyBaby
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Dingo8MyBaby » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:04 pm

Smaller ones are decorative, there is also examples of decorative metal strips radiating out from them, these can be found on round top and the later flat top kites - usually linked to someone of note. There are examples of ones with small domes and wider flanges that possibly offered broader protection for the forearm behind them, but they are few and more southern than England etc.



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Medicus Matt
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Medicus Matt » Wed Jul 10, 2013 11:40 pm

Useful thread with lots of interesting examples on the ever informative 'MyArmoury'..
http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=26755


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Brother Ranulf
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Brother Ranulf » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:40 pm

Umbones (shield bosses) became vestigial by the late 11th/early 12th century, meaning that they no longer served their original function but remained for reasons of tradition, or practicality in providing a projecting "lump" on the face of the shield. This could be used as previously mentioned as an offensive feature, but many were very small compared with earlier types.

It is entirely possible that vestigial bosses would have continued in use but for the advent of heraldry; the earliest English heraldry appeared in the 1140s and this began a steady decline in the use of bosses, until they had almost completely gone out of use by 1200, when heraldry was out of short trousers and starting at secondary school (well, you know what I mean). This provides a reliable dating system when combined with other features - for example the so-called Carlton-in-Lindrick knight figure discovered in Bassetlaw, Notts in 2004, a small bronze figurine of a mounted knight. He can only date from the late 12th century, despite carrying a round-topped kite shield, because this shield has no boss and his horse is kitted out with a full caparison. Together these elements make the dating fairly certain:

carltonknight3.jpg
Last edited by Brother Ranulf on Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Biro
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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Biro » Fri Aug 09, 2013 10:59 pm

Is that really a caparison, or is it a limitation of the material or craftsman to do individual horses legs given it's size?



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Re: Kite Shield Boss??

Postby Brother Ranulf » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:01 am

It really is a caparison, with folds visible in the material and definite front and rear sections as depicted in other art. I was able to obtain a detailed description from Bassetlaw Museum soon after its discovery and the comparison with manuscript illustrations showing full caparisons was conclusive.

This is not the only evidence for round-topped kites at the end of the 12th century, which exactly parallels the continued use of the plain "Norman" helmet despite many other types being developed alongside them. I am not aware of any contemporary "limitations" in artistry in things like water ewers in the shape of horses - perhaps you have an example in mind? In fact there is no limitation in the use of bronze in extremely fine, detailed work in things like buckles and brooches, horse pendants, small keys and candlesticks, among many other items.


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