Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1570 German Waidknecht

Subject: Waidknecht forester/woodsman
Culture: German
Setting: Holy Roman Empire 16-17thc

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Event Photos)

* Sabean 1984 p65 (quoting a 1648 account of Hans Keil's vision of Christ)
​"[T]he Lord Jesus complains that the Holy Son and the all-Holy Name of God which one should praise, honor, and glorify are profaned by godless hunters (Waidknechte). They blaspheme with god-blaspheming swearing and cursing, over which the Lord Jesus is mightily angered and offended."

* Barsis 1973 p160 caption (describing a discharged soldier and peasant forester, Germany 1550-1600)
"The vagrant soldier, still armed, cherishes the not entirely unjustifiable hope that he will be left alone by the count's forester, who certainly would have dealt harshly with any peasant caught poaching.
    "When soldiers were dismissed at the end of the campaign for which they had been hired, it was up to them to find a living for themselves.  More ofthen than not, the living took the form of highway robbery.  Many soldiers also deserted before they had served their time, even though to do so might mean severe punishment -- in the conventional military phrase, 'Nowhere should he find a safe hiding or peace.'
    "The German military style, which ... had spread throughout Europe, is now on its way out and is being replaced by Spanish-inspired fashion, as in the costume worn by the forester ...."


* Boeheim 1890 p413-

* Pitt Rivers Museum online > Steel trigger crossbow (1884.16.12)
"In around 1540, two major stylistic changes took place in Halberüstung design. Firstly, the long shallow butt of earlier forms was replaced with a short, high butt, i.e. more like that of a modern rifle. Secondly, one side of the butt was hollowed out to permit the archer to place his cheekbone against the stock, and sight along the line of the bolt."




​* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/LaRocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p102 (
"Fifteenth- and sixteenth-century hunting scenes depict huntsmen wearing short curved swords clearly based on the cleaver-like medieval falchion. The rear quillon is extended to form a short knuckleguard and the grip is usually made of two plaques of bone or wood rivetted through the tang. A selection of bodkins and small knives fit snugly into pockets at the top of the scabbard. Unfortunately scabbards tend to disintegrate with age and very few hunting swords survive with their matching accoutrements.
  "[...] At some time before 1550 it became customary to add a small shell guard to hunting swords. This became much larger as the century progressed, offering more scope for decoration. The blade also became ornate, often engraved with scenes of the chase."

* Stone 1934 p


​* Coe/Connolly/Harding/Harris/LaRocca/Richardson/North/Spring/Wilkinson 1993 p (
"[The {H}auswehr] was single-edged, good for chopping and stabbing, and had a single small quillon and a grip made of two plates of wood or bone rivetted through the tang. A larger version was made in the later Middle Ages, equipped with various smaller knives, bodkins and other implements sheathed in extra pockets on the leather scabbard. Several such hunting trousses survive, dating from the sixteenth century."

* Fryer 1969 p68
"Trousse-de-chasse  A set of implements, usually a large knife and sundry small knives, etc., contained in one sheath. It was used when hunting to eviscerate the kill."

* Stone 1934 p


* Racinet 1988 p168 f3.2 (late 16th century)
​"A huntsman, wearing a traditional costume, that has only been modified in a few areas by contemporary fashion, to include a ruff and soft, long boots.  A short, loose-sleeved shirt is tucked into his belt, and is worn with the collar shut.  A fur hat replaces the traditional hood."