"Visby" Coat of Plates

289.00€

In the mid 1300’s the island of Gotland was a successful trading hub of the Hanseatic League. The Danish king Valdemar IV Atterdag needed money, and more taxes could be raised if he could tax the merchants of Visby. He deployed his mercenary army and eventually a battle took place on July 27th 1361. The peasants defending the island had retreated to just outside the city walls. They were poorly lead, only 60% of them were of fighting age, and their arms and armour was vastly inferior to those of the mercenaries. No help came from the city. Even by medieval standards the outcome was brutal: of the 2000 strong peasant army only about 10% survived the massacre. The city surrendered and was spared. The dead were later buried in mass graves outside the walls with their armour still on. Perhaps the armour was so old and in bad shape that it was not worth salvaging, or, more likely, couple of days in the sweltering heat had started decomposing and salvaging gear simply would have been too gruesome.

When the graves were excavated in the early 20th C, an unprecedented collection of early transitional armour was found. In any other circumstances these type of munition grade armour would not have survived, as it likely would have been used for scrap metal and recycled. The excavations unearthed numerous different types of armoured coats. In coat of plates -type construction the lamelles or plates are each attached to sturdy surface materials, such as leather, making a body armour which is easy and economical to make and simple to mend without much metallurgical know-how. They offer a protection equivalent to a plate armor cuirass but allow more flexibility. Typically a coat of plates would have been worn over a hauberg.

This Type I model, consisting of both horizontal and vertical plates, is one of the most popular types found among the pieces used in the battle of Visby. Our version if made of 2 mm rawhide and 1.6 mm steel plates. Flexible and relatively light, it weighs under 8 kg. The coat may have small marks on its surface, imperfections or won´t be 100% homogeneous. Roughness and color may vary from piece to piece. The dying process is made using traditional techniques so final colour may vary depending on the leathers original tone. Like in medieval times the wearer can him/herself bend/modify separate steel plates to make the coat sit perfectly without the aid of a blacksmith.

Fits up to 115 cm chest, height from the shoulder to the bottom of the hem 93 cm, weight 7.7 kg. Made by Marshal Historical.





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