Renaissance Dissident
Art History from a Different Perspective


The Art of Chris Dobson

Armour restoration by Chris Dobson eBook


The Art of Chris Dobson

A4 Format PDF, 176 pages, 174 illustrations.
ISBN 0-9541633-9-7

Price €29.95

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For 30-odd years I carried out expert restoration and conservation of many pieces of armour and edged weapons, from masterworks to mass-produced munition arms. This work runs from simple cleaning, to bringing apparently hopeless cases ‘back from the dead’ and reconstructing full Renaissance embossed, etched and gilded decoration. The techniques involved in such restoration can be either reversible or non-reversible, as circumstances dictate. The restoration process includes documentation of any notable features, such as constructional marks, signatures, working-lifetime alterations or battle damage, and sometimes attribution of the piece, and metallographic anylisis by leading experts.

This publication brings together restorations of arms and armour from the 13th to the 17th centuries, demonstrating that so often, a restoration project is a learning process, and sometimes what you discover can give you quite a surprise. This book is packed with photos that document the restoration process of armour and edged weapons: before, during, and after the work, together with photos of the comparable pieces, art and references from period documents that inform these restoration projects. Some pieces are in public museums, but others are in private collections, never published before. The book begins with a selection of simple restorations, and then builds in the complexity of restoration techniques and background research through a series of case studies, culminating in a stunning Milanese embossed, silvered and gilded parade burgonet.

Introduction: Why Restore?
1. A Restoration Selection
2. Back from the Dead
Case Study 1. The Draycot Cerne Armet
Case Study 2. A Close Helmet for the Barriers
Case Study 3. A Flemish Armet
Case Study 4. A Renaissance Parade Burgonet

In telling the stories of these restorations, this book offers much to anyone interested in the armour and edged weapons of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, from museum professionals and collectors to living history enthusiasts.

NB: I no longer do restoration work.

A peacock-blue German anime armour, late-16th century.
The Draycott Cerne armet after restoration by Chris Dobson
Restored horseman’s hammer
Restoration of Medieval armor
A ‘Death’s Head’ burgonet from a German cuirassier armour
Embossed and gilded parade helmet by Zarabaglia
Example photos above from the book, left to right/top to bottom: a 16th century peacock blue German anime half-armour; the armet of Sir Thomas Long, c.1440 and c.1495-1500; a 15th century North Italian horseman’s hammer; a Milanese sallet, c.1450; a ‘Death’s Head’ German cuirassier closed burgonet, c.1630-35; a parade burgonet by Giovan Battista Panzeri detto Zarabaglia and Marco Antonio Fava c.1560-63. All photos above © Chris Dobson.
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