|Wisby #3 gauntlets|
Based of the grave finds from the Battle of Wisby.
In 1361 the city of Wisby in on the island of Gotland was attacked. Unlike the mass graves of other battles Wisby is unique in that many pieces or armour where buried with the dead. Some was outdated but still it's not fully known why so much was left, could it have been the summer heat made the bodies of the dead to rank to bother? Was the armour to outdated or damaged? or did the attackers just not have the space to haul all of it away? While the answer isn't known, it did leave us a great historical representation of the armour used in the battle.
Recreated from measurements and photos of the gauntlet #3 of the Wisby Grave finds. Only one of the pair was found and it was missing the cuff and one plate from the back of the hand. There where other gauntlets of similar construction found that had cuffs so the cuff is based of those. On particular note is the thumb, off the hundreds of pieces or armour dug up from the battle of Wisby only two pieces had metal articulated to metal. Both examples where gauntlet thumbs. The thumb on the #3 are by far the more advanced articulation of metal on metal.
My reproductions are made of mild steel in 18g and 16g, riveted to elk and deer skin and sewn to gloves. Every possible plate is made to match the originals as much as possible, based of scale drawings and photos of the original. The one deviation from the originals I did was to stamp the rivet heads. Where the original had simple rivet heads I built up the ones on my reproduction with silver solder and stamped heraldic Fleur-de-lis, conch shells and shields. Similar motifs are to be found as brass plaques and similar decorations on other piece from the grave finds.
The back of the hand is made up of a knuckle plate and multiple smaller plates. These smaller plates allow an amazing amount of mobility as they can slide over one another as the wrist moves. As mentioned above the thumb joints are articulated to each other instead of relying on leather or textile for movement. Much care went into getting the thumb plates to fit and work together like the originals so that there is no noticeable impediment of movement. The fingers are constructed just like the originals with surface mounted finger tips and knuckles but the rest of the fingers made up of small overlapping plates hidden under the leather much like the back of the hand and cuff.
The pictured pair was made for living history or collector enthusiast. for those wanting a pair for SCA or other recreational combat use the multiple separate plates between joints in the fingers can be built with single plate fluted to look like the original multiple plates. That and appropriate padding is all that should be needed to pass the safety rules of most organizations. Every pair is made custom to customer measurements and particulars. It may even be possible to do ones own heraldic devices in the rivet heads, that depends on complexity of design in making the stamps.
Prices start at $900 for ready to use gauntlets in mild steel with normal commercially available rivets. Stainless, spring steel, platings, custom rivet heads and other custom considerations will be quoted on an individual bases.