FRENCH MOUNTED SERGEANT, 14th CENTURY

An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1
by Ian Heath



39.      FRENCH MOUNTED SERGEANT, 14th CENTURY

This figure is from a Parisian tapestry woven between 1373-80. He wears complete arm and leg harness including gauntlets but not sabatons, a quilted jupon of the type described under 34, and a kettle-helmet over a blue cloth hood (possibly worn over a coif). The kettle-helmet (in English a 'ketyll-hat') remained in use throughout the 14th and 15th centuries, sometimes worn over a bascinet as in 39a (dating to 1347), but was less common than the bascinet. It is usually to be found in the sources under its French names of capiau or chapel-de-fer. A variant which evolved late in the 14th century was the chapeau de Montauban, named after the town in southern France where it first appeared. This had eye-slits in the brim and proved immensely popular in Germany and the Low Countries (39b).

The sword he carries is a falchion. This type had in fact largely disappeared by the last quarter of the 14th century, to be replaced by the somewhat scimitar-shaped variant carried by 46.


[Based on the Angers Apocalypse Tapestry, Anjou, France]



Next: 40. FRENCH PAVESIER 1358 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1 by Ian Heath






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