Today we take a look at several pieces of historical chainmail from The Oakeshott Institute Collection as well as a couple of pieces of modern reproduction mail, and reflect on how the diversity of authentic mail influences how we think about weapon vs armor testing. In a recent video we responded to post by Tod (of Tod's Stuff) and Matt Easton in which they found different results than we did when challenging modern mail with historically accurate rondel daggers.
Now, we want to stress that we have big respect for both Matt and Tod, and for their testing videos, which made us really reflect on why we've seen different results. We really try to do tests that contribute to our understanding of historical arms and armor rather than just trying to sell our products (which you should totally buy because they are awesome). One of the really interesting things about this whole situation is that two makers of high quality historical reproductions got really different results in similar tests. This begs the question of why...
This video is the first of several in which we explore why it is that tests of historical arms vs. armor tests get such divergent results. Check it out!
Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography. He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.
Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985