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Friday, April 27, 2007

ROMAN CAVALRY SHIELDS

(click on image to enlarge)

Have just finished making two Roman Cavalry Shields (copied from a design on Trajan's Column). These are about 1.2 metres high to give you an idea of scale. This is a special commission that The Ermine Street Guard was asked to do for English Heritage's Special Events Unit.

I started them at Easter and played around with them in my spare time. The shields are cut from heavy plywood and the designs painted on in matt colours (to replicate ancient paints). The edges are finished with leather. This is cut into strips and glued around. The edge is then drilled all round and the leather is stitched via these holes. The centre bosses have been spun from sheet brass (Romans used bronze). I made the four studs which hold each boss from English 2 pence pieces (which were made of copper until 1992 - so I tend to save the old ones!) I dish the coin, solder a spindle on the back so I can hold it in a lathe and then polish off one side as seen.

This is the best they will ever look as they will be used for battle re-enactments with Roman mounted cavalry and will soon be knocked around.

You can see our Roman cavalrymen, with such shields here (just click on the images you see to enlarge them.)

12 comments:

Lucy said...

You're a bloody clever fellah Avus!

Lee said...

You can't let them get knocked around! Beautifully done.

herhimnbryn said...

Superdad!

Knowleypowley said...

Have to say, am totally in awe of your artistic abilities. Can see where your first born got hers from.

Granny J said...

You, sir, put our Old West reenactors to shame! All I can say about your workmanship is "Wow!"

Avus said...

Dear Friends:
Thank you for your compliments. However - as the (Mandarin) Chinese saying goes "bugandang" - "I am unworthy"
I do not consider myself an artist, but rather a copyist or painstaking craftsman, perhaps. What one person originates (the artist) another can, with effort, copy. That's me - I lack the creative, artistic spark.

chiefbiscuit said...

I am SO impressed. They are beautiful shields. History in living colour - I love it. And I enjoyed your written descriptions of what went into your workmanship. (Got to have the words as well as pictures!) I love that history is cherished in such a way. I was watching a little bit of a programme about such re-enactments on telly the other day and was amused that there were actual (very serious) inspections to make sure of authenticity - down to each buckle and dome.

Avus said...

Chief: Thank you. Yup! We are VERY tight on authenticity. Everything that my group makes has to have an original Roman source and has to be passed by the committee before it can be made/used. One cannot just think up something "nice"!

Vita said...

How delightful that you are such a skilled craftsman and could make these beautiful shields. Will you get to be part of the mounted cavalry? I thought you were infantry.

Nea said...

Beautiful, i can't imagine them knocked around, they are so pretty and have so much detail. but I guess if that is their function, then that is their fate.......Nick, my son, has a love of shield and swords and such. He is a collector......on a 12 year old scale. He has quite a collection, it has gone from plastic, to plywood, to walnut, to metal.....

I suppose he might grow out of it, but maybe not.......

Avus said...

V: Me on a horse - you must be joking! They ain't got any brakes and the steering is awful - give me a motorsickle anytime! I will stick to the infantry with my feet on the ground.
N: I didn't!

Al said...

Yells enviously...

"since when did you have a lathe!!


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