(About) Gauntlets Fit for a Future King
Darksword Armory’s finest armor-makers have painstakingly replicated, designed and finished the gauntlets of the legendary English Crown Prince and military commander Edward of Woodstock, better known as the Black Prince. They are a truly spectacular pair of 14th-century noble gauntlets, showcasing high-medieval craftsmanship which glows with a royal magnificence that would not be equalled in complexity and delicacy for a century.
A Meticulous Reconstruction
The Black Prince Gauntlets are made from a dramatic combination of mild steel and brass. Each finger and thumb joint is individually articulated and hand-riveted for an astonishing degree of freedom of movement. Brass roses line the back of the knuckles, providing a row of brutal spikes that could prove a deadly extra weapon for the Prince in a tight spot. The wrists of the Black Prince Gauntlets flare out dramatically to protect the join with the vambraces, giving them their designation as ‘hourglass’ gauntlets. They are completed by the pair of heavy leather gloves to which they are mounted – providing comfort and protection both from the metal of the gauntlets and from heavy handling of sword or polearm. These are fully battle-ready gauntlets, made to withstand full-contact combat with minimal damage – although they should be properly stored dry when not in use, and treated with oil or wax to preserve the steel.
They are a truly spectacular piece of armor. Darksword pride themselves on inch-perfect reproductions of specific medieval objects, and the Black Prince Gauntlets are no exception. As well as a period-perfect re-enactment impression of the Black Prince himself, they would do sterling service as the gauntlets to set off a LARP outfit for a wealthy high-status knight.
(History) The Black Prince
Edward the Black Prince was one of the most successful commanders of the Hundred Years War between the Kings of England and the Kingdom of France. His tragic death, before that of his father King Edward III, left the Kingdom in the hands of an infant boy, and historians speculate how this towering figure of popular culture (and not a little mythmaking) might have steered the country differently had he lived. His funereal reliquary in Canterbury Cathedral contains some of the most famous surviving pieces of high-medieval arms and armor. His greatsword, a handsome Type XVa, is one of the most reproduced medieval weapons – but perhaps even more spectacular are his funereal gauntlets. The originals are sumptuously gilded, and had a removable knuckle-guard in the image of a leopard! They were placed above his tomb after his interment in Canterbury Cathedral in 1376, along with his iconic longsword and scabbard, his quilted surcoat bearing his coat of arms, and his shield. His black ‘shield of peace’ with three ostrich feathers likely gave him his epithet, as well as bequeathing its motto ‘Ich Dien’ (‘I Serve’) to the heraldry of all successive Princes of Wales.
Materials: Mild steel, brass, leather