(About): Subtle Gothic Design, Updated With Modern Convenience
Our German Knight Leg Armor is a masterpiece of late-medieval recreation. It consists of a matched pair of unified integrated pieces of leg armor – each comprising of a half-cuisse, a poleyn and a shin-plate, all made in heavyweight historically-accurate 16-gauge mild steel.
The cuisse is made from two carefully-shaped overlapping metal plates which have been riveted together in order to permit the full flex of the thigh. A hinged side-plate covers the side and rear of the upper leg to imitate the closed cuisse which gave much better protection to the vulnerable back of the leg – these were often seen on the mid-15th century German suits of armor which our German Knight Leg Armor is based on. Below the cuisse is the polyen or ‘knee-armor’; it is articulated with three riveted lames that provide the maximum range of movement for the knee. This form of articulation was an innovation of the late 14th-century, where armor-makers began to use ‘sliding rivets’ to be able to create wholly impervious joints which remained fully armored in all positions. The back of the knee, however, was a complex joint that was never satisfactorily sheathed by a sliding-riveted encasement in the age of plate armor – thus, armor-makers often resorted to other means of protecting it. The usual method in Gothic armor of this type was a layer of flexible maille known as gousset or a pair of partial maille trousers worn under the armor called voiders, along with a projecting fan-plate at the side of the poleyn. Our German Knight Leg Armor poleyns incorporate a wide leaf-shaped fan-plate to give this extra protection to this vulnerable joint. Below the poleyn is a short half-greave, also articulated to permit the poleyn to flex properly with the lower leg.
The ethos of House of Warfare in designing these integrated armor pieces is to bring the appearance and feel of historically-authentic medieval armor, without the requirement for the prolonged doffing doffing and donning processes that medieval knights would have been assisted through by their squires. Our German Knight Leg Armor is held in place simply and securely by three adjustable rugged leather straps with antiqued buckles, one each for the cuisse, poleyn and half-greave to give a fantastic fit for all different leg shapes. Furthermore, like the Gothic armor which it is based on, it is designed to be modular, merging with your other armor into a unified armor system: the upper edge of the cuisse has holes for pointing (laces) so that you can attach the tassets from your torso armor, and the lower shin-plate has mounting holes for a longer pair of standalone greaves should you so desire. They’d do sterling service as part of a Late Middle Ages re-enactment of a Continental knight, or as a fantasy impression of a holy paladin or noble warrior.
(Curiosity): Armored Wrestling
With the development of fully-encasing plate armor, hand-to-hand combat evolved into something hitherto unseen. Since cutting weaponry was more or less useless against plate, German combat tutors developed a method of fighting with the two-handed longsword called Harnischfechten (literally ‘harness fighting’ or armored combat) where the sword became a versatile and deadly weapon. New ways of wielding the sword were used, like the Halbschwert (‘half-sword’) where the blade was gripped halfway-down and used like a spear, or the Mordstreich (‘death strike’), where the sword was reversed and held by the blade with the pommel and quillons swung like a pickaxe. Quite different from the fancy footwork we associate with the period!
- Material: 16-gauge mild steel
- Secondary materials: Leather
- Style: Gothic
Thigh Length: 13.5 Inches
Thigh Width Across Back: 7.5 Inches
Knee Length: 9 Inches