Allen Antiques

These are the Mail in the Allen study collection.
European Shirt of mail

European Shirt of mail 15th century

Most of a shirt of mail. One sleeve missing. It may have been cut away to form a gusset. The remains of the shirt have very nice details. The shirt includes a standing collar formed of heavier rings. The wire from which these rings were formed is thicker than the main body rings and the overlap for the rivet is even larger. This makes it stiff enough to stand up and protect the neck. The remaining sleeve is short. It does not seem to be due to loss. There are a few brass rings at the lower edge showing that the original form remains. The bottom edge is asymetric. The back is shorter than the front. There is a central slit in the front. Rings with noticeable swelling at the rivet. The rings are vaguely triangular in section. The inside is flat, the front is beveled slightly throughout the ring, more aggresively at the rivet overlap. Some rings obviously attached with wedge rivets, others not as clear. The inside of the rivet is flush with the body of the ring, the outside forms a nice head. Brass rings at the bottom edge have iron rivets.

Not for sale.

Mail shirt

Mail shirt 16th-17th c.

The form of the rings is similar to 15th c. and earlier European items. The rings are roughly round with a swell at the rivet overlap that is rounded at the back and rises to a low point at the front. The form of the shirt is atypically long for this period. Small rings (averaging 6 rings in the body of the shirt yeilds an outside diameter of 7.5 mm and 1.07 mm wire) of round cross section. Overlaps heavily swelled and rivets set flush to ring surface. The torn rings show clearly that the rivets were wedge shaped. 44 inches long. Neck opening includes a small slit in the front where there is overlapped mail. This overlaps right over left. The body is pieced using larger rings. The placement of these is marked using string. Expansion rings are marked with V shaped ties. There were probably originally more expansion rings on the right side, where there are currently losses. Some of the larger rings are probably also missing as their line overlaps losses. There are also what appear to be a number of repair rings. These are formed of round wire where the ends of the wire overlap and one is bumped over the other as a simple catch. Erik D. Schmid has commented that the main fabric rings appear to be unremarkable - like late 14th c. or early 15th c. with a suggestion that they are Milanese in origin. This is somewhat later than the form would suggest, but still European and medieval. Further discussion indicates that this is probably a shirt made in Milan for export use in the Turkish or Mamiluk market. The form is most similar to a large number of shirts that survive in the Topkapi Palace armory in Istanbul.

Details

  • Detail #1: Although this image is somewhat out of focus, it shows the top edge of an overlap having been torn loose. In better focus, and also of interest are the lines in the wire caused by the draw plate.
  • Detail #2: A better focused shot showing the torn overlap and missing rivet.
  • Detail #3: An inside view of another torn overlap and missing rivet from another ring. Of note is the remaining hole in the other half of the ring, a sort of elongated pentagon with flat base and shallow sides, which reveals the shape of the drift used to make the hole.
  • Detail #4: The inside view of another missing rivet and torn overlap.
  • Detail #5: This shows the same ring as Detail #6 beside a millimeter scale. The end of the ring appears to have been cut with a shearing type tool.
  • Detail #6: Here is the same inside view of the hole from the missing rivet sans scale.
  • Detail #7: A peculiar example of a mis-aligned rivet. The rivet was inserted from the inside at an angle, but was driven out the side of the overlap between the two halves rather than through the outside hole. The rectangular base and long point which was not distorted make it positive that wedge riveting is used.

Weight 16 pounds 3.6 ounces.

Not for sale.

Analysis by Mart Shearer

Mail Voider

Mail Voider 16th century

For the right arm. Rings of somewhat flattened form. Rings averaging app. 7 mm outside diameter. pent roof formed overlap on both sides. Wedge rivets. Tapered with expansion under the arm to accommodate the shoulder. Wider across the back. labeled as German. The pent roof shape of the overlap is associated with German manufacture. Small brass borders of alternating solid and riveted rings eleven rows wide (6 solid, 5 riveted.). The solid rings flat, the riveted rings of round section. Wedge rivets. Border is secured by a line of flattened butted rings indicating that it was almost certainly added after the working life of the piece. App. 9 in. wide at the cuff, 9 in. long at the edges, 10 in. long at the center and 15 in. wide at the base.

Detail images over the scale show the outside and inside of the rings. Microscope images show: first and second show a broken ring where the rivet has held, though the top of the overlap has partially torn free, third shows striations (possibly from punching) on the solid latten rings of the edging, fourth shows draw marks on the riveted latten rings and burring on the punched rings, fifth shows the back of the brass wedge rivets and more striations on the punched rings, sixth shows the shape of a rivet hole in the latten rings - a trapezoid similar to a sharp-cornered USB connector. Detailed images and analysis by Mart Shearer.

Not for sale.

European Mail collar

European Mail collar 16th century

Mail Collar. Formed of very small rings (app. 1/8 inch i.d.) of round cross section. Taper formed by the addition of a triangular gusset in the middle. 6 1/2 inches tall. Body of rivetted rings. Wedge rivets. Border of 3 rows of brass rings - 2 of solid punched rings and one riveted. Formerly in the collection of Leonard Heinrich - armourer to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Not for sale.

Piece of Mail

Piece of Mail 16th century

Piece of Mail. Rings of round cross section except at the overlap. All rings rivetted. Wedge rivets.

Not for sale.

European Mail Shirt

European Mail Shirt 16th century

Shirt of mail. 16th century, likely German. Long sleeves. Rings of flattened form. Slight swells at the rivets. Wedge rivets. A band of smaller rings around the neck. Open at the front. Overall formed of alternating rows of solid and riveted rings. A band at the front on each side formed of all riveted rings. Rings in the body app. 5/16 in. i.d., often forming slight ovals instead of perfect circles. The smaller rings at the neck app. 3/16 in. i.d. The "collar" formed of 11 rows of small links and one row of normal sized rings at the border. App. half of the sleeves formed of somewhat heavier all riveted rings with cruder rivets. Careful inspection shows that this sleeve extension has been added with butted rings and is closed by a row of butted rings so this was almost certainly added after the working life of the shirt. Significant losses. Round brass collection tag with "707". Detail images on an inch scale. The first shows a section of the outside of the body, the second and third show outside and inside of the front edges including a section of the collar.

Not for sale.

piece of mail

piece of mail 16th century

Piece of mail. 16th century, likely German. Alternating rows of riveted and solid rings. Flattish form with swelling at the rivet. Watershed form on both sides of the rivet overlap. Rivet heads pronounced on the outside and flush on the inside. Rivets seem to be wedge shaped. Some losses. 10 1/2 in tall, 35 in. wide with the mail stretched wide. Rings vary in size, in general the riveted rings are larger than the solid ones, all somewhat larger than 1/4 in. inside diameter. Solid rings vary in cross section - some very thin, some more washer-like. Some of the solid rings seem to have some flats on the outer edge as if they were punched from sheet and sometimes a ring overalapped the edge of a previous ring. Includes at least one spot near a current hole that includes 2 rings that appear to be working life repairs. They are in a solid row and show distinct round rivets.

Sample ring measurements - punched rings thickness - .050, .060, .082, .044, .055, .080, .060. Riveted rings thickness - .040, .055, .056, .045, .064. Outside diameter of riveted rings .415, .412, oval-ish one .400x.435. Inside diameter is hard to measure, but a few sample punched rings are .260 and a few sample riveted rings are .280.

Not for sale.

Mail shirt

Mail shirt 16th

Mail Shirt hip length with short sleeves and collar. Open at the center of the neck. Rings of flattened form, entirely riveted. Wedge rivets. Collar of slightly heavier rings somewhat more crudely made. The rivet heads on the collar on the opposite side. This indicates the collar was added, almost certainly during the working life of the shirt. The body is formed of slightly heavier rings than the bottom border, the ends of the sleeves are even lighter. There is one row of solid rings around the bottom. The shirt is tailored in the back in two lines. These lines start over the shoulder blades and drop rings down to the waist and then down to the top of the shoulder. There are also some expansion rings in the lower center of the back. This provides a lot of extra material over the shoulder blades which would allow for good forward movement. The front is not tailored in the same way. The images with flags indicate the locations of the expansion rings. They point in the direction of expansion. The main rings have an oval form. It appears that the main rings in the main body are app. 5/16 x 1/4 in. ID. The smaller, thinner ones along the sleeve edge are app. 1/4 in. ID and more round.

Detail images show: the first three show the rings in the main body at the center join in the front, the next two show the collar rings and the last show the rings at the edge of the skirt.

Not for sale.

Mail Sleeve

Mail Sleeve 16th century

Formed of small rings with app. 7/32 inch inside diameter measured with a ruler. Wire thickness measured with a dial gauge app. .030 in. OD of rings app. .270 varying noticeably as many of the rings are slightly oval. For these rings the ID would be app. .210 inch or 5.4 mm. This is consistent with the rough measurement. The sleeve includes an area covering the shoulder and armpit, full sleeve with bend at the elbow and tapering to the form of the arm. Rings of rounded section with flattened area for the rivet. All rings riveted. Wedge rivets with the back set flush and front forming a a shallow point. Rings of consistent size. No signs of decorative rings at the edge of the gusset. There are a very few remaining rings that are likely brass at the cuff. Small losses, but relatively sound. Missing rings have been replaced with butted rings to stabilize the fabric. The total surface area is 564 sq. inches, given the density of the mail this means there are app. 18,340 rings in this sleeve. It weighs app. 3 lb. 5 oz. (1500 g). The sleeve is tailored using a line of reductions or the upper arm running in a line from near the corner of the cross-grain joint of the armpit to a place just shy of the elbow. It also has two lines of row reductions in the forearm. This sleeve is larger than the other one and less dense. Analysis, repairs and marking by Robert MacPherson.

Detail images show the edge of the shoulder area over an inch scale. Microscopic images show: first a missing rivet in the iron rings with a trapezoidal hole, second shows a missing rivet in the latten cuff. The cusped edge on the solid latten ring is generally considered evidence of punching too close to the edge of a previous hole. Detailed images and analysis by Mart Shearer.

Not for sale.

Mail Sleeve

Mail Sleeve 16th century

Formed of small rings with an inside diameter slightly over 5/32 inch. round section wire was used to make these rings. The rings in the body section are thicker than the rings at the end of the sleeves. In the body the wire is app. .038 in in diameter, the end of the sleeve is .029. The outside diameter of the rings is app. .240 in. With area covering the shoulder and armpit, full sleeve with bend at the elbow and tapering to the form of the arm. Iron rings of round cross section all riveted. The flattened area at the rivet is slightly bevelled on both sides forming a cross section that is roughly a diamond shape. Wedge rivets flush on the inside and forming a shallow point on the outside. Very small rings. Decorative border of copper alloy (brass) rings at the edge of the gusset and at the wrist. Border of alternating solid and riveted rings of 4 rows of solid and 3 rows of riveted rings. Small and medium losses, but overall form remains. Butted rings have been added to stabilize the fabric. The total surface area is 507 sq. inches, given the density of the mail this means that there are app. 24,350 rings. It weighs app. 4 lb. 9.5 oz. (2175 g).or the upper arm running in a line from near the corner of the cross-grain joint of the armpit to a place just shy of the elbow. It also has two lines of row reductions in the forearm. This sleeve is somewhat shorter than the other one and more dense. Analysis, repairs and marking by Robert MacPherson.

Detail images show the edge of the shoulder area over an inch scale. Microscopic images: the first shows the exterior view of the riveted rings, the second shows the interior of the riveted rings, the third shows a sprung ring wih the rivet intact. Microscopic images and analysis by Mart Shearer.

Not for sale.

Mail shirt

Mail shirt 17th century

Mail Shirt, probably Eastern European. Formed of varying size and thickness rings. The rings over the chest are much heavier than those in the skirt and sleeves. Formed of alternate rows of riveted and solid rings. The rings are 3/8in i.d. The rings at the chest are much thicker than those at the edges. There is a rectangular patch of finer mail under the arm pit. The rings have a roughly "wankel" cross section. App. 31 inches long. Opens down the entire front. Details show rings from the collar, chest and skirt. Detail images with scale are on an inch scale.

Not for sale.

Maker

Maker"s ring circa ?

Maker"s mark ring from a shirt of european mail.

Not for sale.

Piece of Mail

Piece of Mail circa ?

Piece of mail.

Not for sale.

Piece of Mail

Piece of Mail circa ????

Piece of Mail

Not for sale.

Piece of Mail

Piece of Mail circa ????

Small piece of Mail. Each ring stamped with parallel lines. Wedge rivets of brass.

Not for sale.




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This site last updated Mon Nov 02 16:55:57 EST 2015