Renaissance Dissident
Art History from a Different Perspective

As Tough as Old Boots?

Essays on the Manufacture and History of Hardened Leather Armour

As Tough As Old Boots? Essays on the Manufacture and History of Hardened Leather Armour

As Tough as Old Boots?

Essays on the Manufacture & History of Hardened-Leather Armour

A4 Format PDF, 118 pages,
105 colour and 3 black & white illustrations

Publication update March 1st 2024:

Due to popular demand, I have made this eBook available again.
Price: €35.00

To download an order form click here, fill it in and send it to me and I shall send you a Paypal link to make payment. Before ordering, please read my publications terms and conditions.

In 2003 I published my ground-breaking article on cuir bouilli - hardened-leather armour - as part of the 1st International Arms and Armour Conference Proceedings, combining scholarly study of surviving pieces, period art and documentary references, with my skill as a Master Armourer, to reconstruct how this armour was actually made.

15 years on, continued public interest in his original publication, other archaeological finds, and a reconstruction project for Leiden Museums, led me to return to this fascinating subject. This new eBook includes and updates my original work - now with colour photography - and features many new photographs of more surviving cuir bouilli pieces. It includes new research using period documentary references and art, looking at the Ancient World, Medieval and Renaissance pieces for war and tournament, and horse armour. It brings together the four earliest medieval pieces of hardened leather armour: the British Museum vambrace and the Dordrecht vambraces, and includes step-by-step reconstructions of early-14th century Italian vambraces and the later Leiden Vambrace. It is a mine of information for anyone wishing to study or reconstruct this armour.

This eBook is packed with beautiful and detailed photography, much never published before. Sincere thanks are due to the major museums that have contributed photographic images, or permitted new photography especially for this publication. It includes photography from: the Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the J. Paul Getty Museum; Yale University Art Gallery; the National Gallery of Art, Washington; the British Museum; Glasgow Museums; Leiden Museums; Dordrecht Museums; Valkenburg Museum; Salzburg Museum; the Schweizerisches Nationalmuseum Zürich; the Vindolanda Trust; FAI - Fondo Ambiente Italiano; the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte, Naples.

1. Hardened-Leather Armour in the Ancient World
2. Hardened-Leather Armour for the Medieval Warrior
3. The British Museum, Dordrecht and Valkenburg Finds
4. Reconstruction 1: Italian Vambraces Circa 1300-10
5. The Leiden Vambrace
6. Reconstruction 2: The Leiden Vambrace
7. Medeival and Renaissance Horse Armour
8. Documents 1:
The 1335 Statute of the Florentine Painters’ Guild
9. Documents 2:
Il Libro dell’Arte of Cennino d’Andrea Cennini
10. Hardened-Leather as Auxiliary Armour

How to make cuir bouilli armour
Hardened-leather horse bard
Medieval hardened-leather vambrace
15th century cuir bouilli shaffron Salzburg
Cuir bouilli horse bards
Medieval hardened-leather vambraces
Photos from the book, credits from left to right/top to bottom: © Chris Dobson; National Gallery of Art, Washington, Public Domain; © Chris Dobson; © Salzburg Museum; © Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; Tilman2007 (CC-BY-SA 3.0).
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© Chris Dobson 2024 | All rights reserved