Thun Manuscript

Historical, Fantasy, and Horror Art

Thun Manuscript

Postby Galloglaich » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:05 pm

Augsburg, in Southern Germany, was one of the main epicenters of armor production in medieval Europe. They specialized in tempered steel armor starting around 1400, and gradually pulled ahead of the previous leader, the city of Milan in Italy (leading fashion then in both iron and textiles like today).

This German armor being tempered to spring-steel level, was much stronger and therefore could be made much thinner - and lighter- than previous armor. A head to toe Gothic harness might weigh as little as 35 lbs, compared to up to 80 lbs for an equivalent Milanese harness. In both cases this armor was literally bullet proof as they would shoot it with guns and mark the dents as 'proof' that the armor could protect against bullets.

'Proofed' armor was more expensive, but production was at such a high level in the 15th Century Augsburg, organized with a lot of mechanization (via water wheels) and specialization through the craft guild system that it was cheap enough so rank and file mercenaries, ordinary town citizens and even rich peasants could afford it.

One of the leading armor making families in Augsburg was the Helmschmied family (Helmschmied meaning literally 'helmet maker', probably an early craft specialization of the family). These people ended up making armor for Kings and Emperors.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmschmied

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lorenz_Helmschmied

The armor makers guild in Augsburg was linked to the painters guild and painters from a prominent workshop got hold of a book of sketches made by the smiths before their commissions, and colored it up and made them into little scenes. This was called the 'Thun Sketchbook' and it was believed lost for centuries, they recently found it. Here are some of the sketches

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A great deal of this armor actually survives, and you can see the real thing. These are from 1470-1495

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Galloglaich
 
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