GERMAN KNIGHT, GÜNTHER VON SCHWARZBURG d.1349
An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath
105. GERMAN KNIGHT, GÜNTHER VON SCHWARZBURG d.1349
This figure differs considerably from the last.
His arms and legs are protected by leather strengthened with metal splints and rivets, a popular form of armour in Germany from the late-13th century until c.1380.
Even in René d’Anjou’s ‘Traité de la Formes et Devis d’un Tournois’ of 1447 it is related how avantbras and gardebras
of cuirbouilli strengthened with 5 or 6 narrow splints ‘the width of a finger’ were worn in Brabant, Flanders, Hainault and ‘other countries towards Germany’.
His foot-armour is similarly of rivet-reinforced leather, Claude Blair observing that the Germans ‘apparently had no great liking’ for mail sabatons.
Although he carries a heaume (with a crest that is unlikely to have been worn in action) the helmet he actually wears is a bascinet à brèteche,
popular in Germany and Italy c.1340-70.
This was a type of helmet in which the mail hood had an in-built nasal which could be hooked up to 2 studs on the brow of the helmet as shown in 105a.
A form of visor, usually referred to today by its modern name of Klappvisier, evolved from this in Germany c.1360;
this was hinged by the middle of its top edge to a vertical bar similarly attached by 2 studs on the brow of the helmet.
105b shows such a visor, from the tomb effigy of Konrad von Kronenberg (d.1372). 105c depicts a more unusual klappvisier from a Bohemian altarpiece of c.1380.
The type of armour depicted here also appeared in Italy, where it was introduced by German mercenaries;
it is to be found in a large number of Italian illustrations of the second half of the 14th century.
Next: 106. GERMAN KNIGHT, WALTHER BOPFINGEN d.1359 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2 by Ian Heath