Saturday, February 13, 2010

Straps for a Targe

Here are two plausible reconstructions of the straps on a medieval targe. I was primarily interested in how such a shield might be used on foot, so I based this reconstruction on pictures in the Codex Wallerstein. That manuscript seems to show two different arrangements for the guige. One, reconstructed on the left, shows the guige attached to the upper rivets of the enarmes. The other, on the right, secures the guige to the shield with two additional rivets somewhat higher on the shield. For combat on foot the first arrangement seems to work significantly better, the lower attachment points allowing the user to control the shield more easily with his shoulder and upper arm.

The Codex Wallerstein only shows vertical enarmes. The Guiron and Lancelot du Lac manuscripts from the 14th century show a horizontal strap between the two lower rivets allowing the user to control the shield while using his reins. I've used both horizontal and vertical enarmes, an arrangement shown in the Romance of Alexander.

The leather that I used, particularly on the left hand targe, is lighter and suppler than than than it should be.

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