Thanksgiving Arms & Armor

Armor and Arms of Colonial America

Morion helm crafted for reenactors on the ship Godspeed.
Morion based on finds at Jamestowne made for soldiers on the Godspeed

Living History, Jamestowne

While near the end of the time period we usually work in, colonial america has been the inspiration for several projects for us over the years. We have replicated arms & armor carried by the pilgrims, items from Jamestowne and the French and Indian War as well as arms carried by the Conquistadors. Here we have a few items that we made for the reenactors at the Jamestown Settlement and the replica ships they have built and sail.
Ships at Jamestowne Harbor
Ships in harbor
Nine morion helms for soldiers at Jamestown.
Group of 9 helms.

Jamestowne Soldiers Armor

These helms were crafted for the soldiers who manned the Godspeed a ship built to replicate one of the early ships of the settlers at Jamestowne. The items were based on excavations and information on what the settlers carried at the time. We made Cuirasses for them as well. The armor was painted black to help with corrosion resistance as they were to be worn by the crew on the Godspeeds voyage up and down the east coast.
Godspeed undersail from Jamestowne
The Godspeed
Cuirass for Jamestown soldiers.
Cuirass for soldiers at Jamestowne.

Swords Excavated

We have also made several pieces from this era for a private collector, two of which were part of the Jamestowne finds --an elegant rapier and a very nice basket hilt.
Rapier excavated at Jamestowne
Rapier excavated from Jamestowne, Virginia.
Rapier reconstruction from find at Jamestown.
Replica of Rapier found at Jamestowne.
Rapier based on Jamestown find shown from fore guard.
Rapier replica of one found at Jamestown.
Complex basket hilt sword found at jamestown settlement.
Replica of basket hilt from Jamestowne, original in the Smithsonian
Jamestown Baskeyhilt in Smithsonian display.

Researching Early America

Sometimes we have to work from sources that may not be the clearest rendition of the piece possible. For example, trying to reconstruct the hilt from an image like the one above is very difficult. In this case we were able to utilize the excellent work of Preservation Virgina to get more details on the piece. Their work includes the below x ray and images of the hilt which gave us a better understanding of how the original sword was constructed.  Collaborating with groups and organizations like these great historic preservationists is something that we do often to make certain that our replicas are as accurate as possible.  Our experience reconstructing, studying, and sometimes obsessing over basket hilts for the past four decades allowed us to extrapolate from these pictures to create the lovely sword below.
Xray of Baskethilt from Jamestown produced by the APVA.
Xray of hilt.
Original basket hilt excavated at Jamestowne
After some conservation.
Basket interior shot
The interior of the basket prior to adjusting where it would sit.
Hilt detail of complex basket hilt sword recovered from Jamestown.
Finished Replica of Basket hilt.
Swords like these are some of our favorite projects, but they also highlight the challenges this work entails. It takes time to replicate these items as closely as possible. Especially with our complex hilts, which we hand build individually with few to no cast parts, the process of research, design, and building often takes a year or more.  So, get your orders in early and we will work hard to make your perfect sword. 


We have also reproduced some of the polearms found in the Jamestowne colony. Here is an example of some excavated pieces from the site, and a replica we did from many years ago.  We now make a wide range of polearms, many of which are suitable for the colonial time period.

Bills excavated from Jamestowne
Excavated bills from Jamestowne
Replica of bill found at Jamestowne
Replica piece crafted by A&A
We hope this gives you something fun to think about  and share as you prepare for, or recover from, Thanksgiving feasting.  Happy holidays!
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