An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 2
by Ian Heath

[Based on Albrecht Dürer. Soldier on Horseback, 1498. Pen and brown ink, watercolour. Albertina, Vienna.]
112.      GERMAN MAN-AT-ARMS 1498

This figure, from a water-colour by Albrecht Dürer (an early study for his 'Knight, Death and Devil' engraving), wears a less complete version of the Gothic armour of 111, differing principally in his lack of sabatons, greaves, vambraces and bevor. Indeed, vambraces were often discarded in the last quarter of the 15th century since the cuff of the gauntlet now often covered most or all of the forearm, some actually reaching the elbow, where they were attached to the couter. Instead of a bevor he wears only a fringed hood like those of 118 and 119, while over his body-armour he wears a short jacket which is open at the front, where two narrow bands cross the chest diagonally. He sits (indeed, almost stands) high in his saddle, and is armed with a sword that could be wielded two-handed, a dagger, and a lance decorated with a fox-brush.

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