Object Title

Mail shirt

Mail shirt

Date

1430

Object Number

III.1320

Provenance

Purchased from Sergeant Gordon, U.S. Army in 1957

Physical Description

It is constructed throughout of riveted rings. There is a shallow cut-out in the lower edge at the front and an extension of truncated triangular shape at the back intended to be brought foward between the legs and fastened at the front by laces. The links are closed by wedge-shaped rivets with rounded heads 1.84 mm in diameter. The neck opening is wide and square and just to the left of it in front are two flat brass rings inscribed in relief; one with the name of the maker the other to a town in Westphalia.

Materials

Dimensions

OverallDepth290 mm
OverallHeight1003 mm
OverallWeight10.44 kg
OverallWidth630 mm
LinkDiameter12.37 mm
LinkDiameter9.33 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

makers name
BERTOLT VOR PARTE
On flat brass ring at front
Stamped
Unknown
Stamped with a group of three barely decipherable symbols three times repeated between small rosettes.
Brass ring by the right armpit
Stamped
Place
TO ISRENLOEN
On flat brass ring on front
Stamped

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXXVI.

W. Reid and M. Burgess, 'A habergeon of Westwale', The Antiquaries Journal, 40, Jan-April 1960: 46-57

Notes

This is one of the finest mail shirts in existence which can be dated with certainty as early as the first half of the 15th century. The maker Bertolt vor Parte, one of the leading citizens of Iserlohn in Westphalia, is recorded in the town archives from the year 1391. He was dead by 1448 in which year reference is made in a document to his son and widow.