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FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS c.1420

An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1
by Ian Heath



37.      FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS c.1420

From the tombstone of Poincenet de Juvigny (d. 1419), this figure wears an Italian-style armour that was soon to become widespread. Differences of fashion in armour tended to originate in Italy and spread from there, and Italian-manufactured armour (particularly Milanese) was highly regarded throughout this whole period. As early as 1316 and 1322, for instance, we read in French and English inventories of Lombard and Bolognese haubergeons respectively, and large quantities of complete Milanese and Lombard armours are referred to being exported from the mid-14th century. North Italian armourers exported to France and Spain in particular, subtly adjusting the styles of their armours to suit the varied tastes of their markets whilst at the same time maintaining a recognisable overall similarity. The type worn here is typical of such Italian armours, which had reached this 'final stage of constructional evolution', as Blair calls it, by about this date. Further developments were thereafter basically confined to subtle improvements to this standard form. For a later Milanese armour see figure 122.





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