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Armourers and their workshops The tools and techniques of late medieval armour production

Dupras, Nickolas (2012) Armourers and their workshops The tools and techniques of late medieval armour production. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This thesis is an interdisciplinary study of medieval armour, with the goal of determining the precise techniques used by medieval armourers in the practice of their craft. The corpus for this research is from the collection of the Royal Armouries, as well as a selection of objects from other museums, with a focus on German and Italian armour between 1400 and 1500. The thesis makes use of a new methodology by which the armour itself is used as a primary source, in essence a text, using the interpretation of tool marks left on its surfaces. Although metallurgical studies have been undertaken on armour, the marks have not been systematically studied in the past and provide a means by which the techniques of the medieval armourer may be identified. The thesis also makes use of inventories, artwork, and experimental hammerwork to more accurately understand the workshop environment. Inventories show the variety of tools required in the workshop, as well as what would have been available to an armourer. Artwork showing armourers engaged in their craft is used to interpret some patterns of tool marks as well as identification of certain tools and techniques. The experimental work undertaken was used to recreate particular types of marks and patterns, demonstrating the relation between tools, processes, and the shapes of armour. The research demonstrates that it is possible, using this method, to reconstruct the ways that armourers worked, something that has been largely conjectural previously. This approach to armour studies has not been attempted before and has allowed for several specific questions to be answered. These include finding differences in working techniques of armourers from different regions, the ability to determine if certain unmarked objects were made by the same armourer, changing methods of construction, and whether a piece is a fake or authentic.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts (Leeds) > Institute for Medieval Studies (Leeds)
The University of Leeds > University of Leeds Research Centres and Institutes > Institute for Medieval Studies (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.577382
Depositing User: Repository Administrator
Date Deposited: 22 Aug 2013 14:15
Last Modified: 19 May 2015 09:19
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/4376

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