Forensic Fashion
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>Costume Studies
>>1529 Austro-German Ritter

SubjectRitter knight
Culture: Imperial German / Austrian
Setting: French, Turkish wars, Europe early-mid 15thc
Evolution1403 German Raubritter > 1494 Gothic German Ritter > 1529 Austro-German Ritter

Context (Period Sources, Event Photos)


* Stone 1934 p30
"Towards the end of the 15th century heavy ridges were often placed around the armpits and the upper edges of the breastplate, and fluting became common.  The compact, closed armet displaced the heavier and less efficient chapel de fer and salade, and the use of a greater number of articulated plates did away with the necessity of the very large guards formerly worn at the joints.
    "By the beginning of the 16th century these changes resulted in the elaborately fluted type of armor known as Maximilian ....  It is characterized by radiating fluted channels, generally spreading from a point on the breastplate, and by the more rounded outlines of all its parts.  The breastplates became more globose and the feet were protected by broad-toed sabatons instead of pointed solerets.  The Maximilian armor is fine though rather clumsy and lacks the dignified simplicity and thoroughbred air of the Gothic.  The Maximilian period lasted from about 1500 to 1540."

* Oakeshott 1999 p60
"At the close of the fifteenth century the German and Italian styles merged, producing a type of armor that has come to be known a 'Maximilian' because it covers the period of that romantic and knightly, but most unstates-manlike individual's reign as emperor (1493-1519).  This armor is rounded and burly in form; we can refer to Schott's armor as an early example.  Some of this armor is closely covered in every part (except the greaves) with closely set flutings, which tend to run parallel with each other, not to fan out in sprays as in the earlier Gothic style.  In its time this ridged and fluted armor was known as 'crested' armor.  Toward the end of the fifteenth century a new piece was added to the harness.  After about 1490 the breastplate became shorter, reaching at the top only to the upper part of the breastbone instead of to the neck, so a close-fitting protection for the throat and upper chest, called a 'gorget,' was worn with it.  The gorget generally took the form of a high collar made of three or four narrow horizontal lames reaching up to the jawbone."

* Shiny shapes 1998 p102
"It is important to consider the face as classified somewhere between the principles of impersonal presentation and the beginnings of self-identification when viewing the armor helmets of the Dürer period.  The new flexibility of the full-visor helmets which appeared at the turn of the Middle Ages to the Renaissance not only fulfills the necessity of meeting altered battle requirements, but certainly also reflects the new, more discriminating attitude toward the face.  The observation that armament is clearly influenced by fashion verifies this connection: if arms are 'clothing' for battle which, in addition to functionality, also express symbolic and social connotations of decorum, then the same must be valid for the 'facial dress' or the visor.  Metallic gestic as a message to the viewer."

* Arnold 2001 p90
"[T]he fluted, folded shapes of German armours in the 'Maximilian' style (after Emperor Maximilian I) were not only decorative, but added stiffness and thus strength without increasing weight.  Though not perfect, a good suit of armour would  blunt or deflect all but the most well-aimed lance, or the most dirct crossbow bolt or arquebus bullet."