Late Medieval Shield Bosses

An area for discussing methods for achieving or approximating a more authentic re-creation, for armour, soft kit, equipment, ...

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Sean M
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Location: in exile in Canada

Late Medieval Shield Bosses

Post by Sean M »

Does anyone sell copies of bosses from late medieval bucklers and targets?

Most online stores carry the same South Asian bosses (or Eastern European copies of the South Asian bosses). They tend to be enlarged to fit the thick padded gloves that Viking Fightin' and tournament HEMA use and the shapes are often from no place or time in particular. And the focus tends to be on Viking Age and ancient Roman or Germanic bosses. Bosses from the 14th and 15th century have some interesting shapes such as shallow domes, round domes with two perpendicular flutes, fluted hexagons or octagons and of course the breast-shaped bosses (another example here). There are also the very small bosses which just cover where straps are fastened to the shield like on Indian and Iranian shields.
DIS MANIBUS GUILLELMI GENTIS MCLEANUM FAMILIARITER GALLERON DICTI
VIR OMNIBUS ARTIBUS PERITUS
Check out Age of Datini: European Material Culture 1360-1410
ryn S
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Re: Late Medieval Shield Bosses

Post by ryn S »

I have seen bosses that are smaller and shallower, but they still look rather generic and may still be ahistorically large. I think all non-generic bosses are based on artefacts and not art(ei: Telemark Boss). Roland Warzecha has had a couple of replica bucklers made, but the domes look rather normal. I have seen other domes, but those are on all metal bucklers. https://www.fabri-armorum.com/en/p/buckler-small/
Last edited by ryn S on Mon Feb 26, 2024 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
Sean M
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Re: Late Medieval Shield Bosses

Post by Sean M »

When a modern object has a site in the name, you still have to research and decide whether its a good copy. Sometimes its a copy of someone else's copy, and sometimes its just made up and given a plausible-sounding name (also, there are hundreds of shield bosses from many sites, so "Birka boss" is like "Museum of London knife"). Most of the shops selling Indian and Pakistani shield bosses don't say what their products are based on and the quality of research will vary from "someone visited the museum, took measurements, sent specs and vetted the results" to "someone in rural Uttar Pradesh used Google on his friend's smartphone."

I like some shield bosses on a set of bucklers that was made by Dan H. in Canada about 10 years ago.

That 1.5 kg, 23 cm buckler from Fabri Armorum seems kind of heavy. And I wonder what the knobby decoration around the base of the dome is inspired by.
DIS MANIBUS GUILLELMI GENTIS MCLEANUM FAMILIARITER GALLERON DICTI
VIR OMNIBUS ARTIBUS PERITUS
Check out Age of Datini: European Material Culture 1360-1410
ryn S
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Re: Late Medieval Shield Bosses

Post by ryn S »

I have heard that most HEMA bucklers are too heavy. I suspect it is in part because of the increased size of the opening for the hand, but also because of the thickness. 2 mm seems to be standard, although I have seen as high as 4 mm.

In Germany, there are some stores that sell their own bosses as well as imported ones. My guess is that custom orders would be possible. Maybe the best option is a custom order from a local blacksmith.

Roland Warzecha has a post about bucklers that includes examples of replicas, but he links only to one shop. https://www.patreon.com/posts/choosing-buckler-44661729
Sean M
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Re: Late Medieval Shield Bosses

Post by Sean M »

I have a list of dealers here but nothing leapt out as having a source from the later middle ages which I could check it against https://www.bookandsword.com/resources/ ... -replicas/ Commissioning custom bosses would turn a possible 'make something with my hands and sell it' project into a 'research and source' project.

I don't know if we have enough well-preserved smallish bucklers to really say what kind of range of weights they had. A lot of surviving buckers are large (like 40 cm or more in diameter) or dug out of the ground (so the wood is waterlogged and the iron is mineralized).
DIS MANIBUS GUILLELMI GENTIS MCLEANUM FAMILIARITER GALLERON DICTI
VIR OMNIBUS ARTIBUS PERITUS
Check out Age of Datini: European Material Culture 1360-1410
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