Medieval History/Armor

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Question
Statue of armor
Statue of armor  
I was wondering if you could let me know the type of armor shown in this statue... I know the weapon is a halbert but not sure what era or region it was used... This is a metal sculpture and only for show but just curious if you could help me out. Thank you for your time

Answer
Hi Justin,
That is clearly plate armor, typical of what was used in the late Middle Ages or even into the Renaissance, say from the years 1300-1600 CE. The halberd was from the period 1500-1650, so you do have an overlap in the years both were used.

Older forms of armor included chain mail, which you probably know was a series of interlocking iron rings, and scale armor which consisted of small pieces of iron, perhaps two inches by two inches that were sewn onto clothing perhaps made of leather. The iron scales overlapped, like fish scales. Mail and scale armor gave some degree of flexibility. Plate armor had to be hinged and therefore could not be used until armorers figured out how to make hinges and other flexible joints and seams. You can see what I mean about hinges on the statue's elbows.

This armor seems more suited for a man who fought on foot which is consistent with the halberd which was an infantry weapon, not a cavalry weapon. The bottom of this man's shirt seems too low for him to sit down in, as in a saddle. The breast plate of a knight's suit of armor would stop at his waist with the possible exception of a groin protector similar to what a baseball catcher wears.

The coloring seems a little strange. Is it copper? If so, it is of recent manufacture since copper turns green when it oxidizes. The Statue of Liberty is made of copper but hasn't shown a copper color in about a century, perhaps more.

Hope this answers your question,
C.M.

Medieval History

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C.M. Aaron

Expertise

I've been studying the early medieval period for almost 20 years. In particular, I've studied the fall of the Roman Empire, the barbarian invasions/migrations, early barbarian law codes, the early medieval church, technology of the period, military campaigns and tactics, and some of the early barbarian dynasties, especially the Merovingians in Gaul (France).

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Twenty years of self study. I also write historical fiction of this era.

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Bachelor's degree.

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