There are few uniforms more iconic than the Musketeers tunic. Thanks to Alexandre Dumas and Hollywood, it is celebrated as a symbol of brotherhood, friendship, and justice.
And Hollywood has created a whole slew of different looks and designs for the Musketeers uniforms — everything from royal blue cassocks and white crosses, to navy blue tunics, grey, black, etc. Some with gold fleur-de-lis on the ends, some with a red sunburst behind the cross, others much more plain. The latest BBC rendition of the Musketeers even gave us leather shoulder pauldrons and a bastardized version of a long cassock.
And as much as all of these designs are instantly recognizable, just how accurate are they to history? What exactly did the King’s Musketeers (Mousquetaires du Roi) actually look like?
Back from Pennsic and working on some new research projects that I’m hoping to release soon. Until then, I wanted to show off my Opening Ceremonies outfit from the event — a 17th Century French chevau légers.
Chevau légers were considered light to medium cavalry. In the early to middle part of the 17th Century, they often wore a cuirass worn over a buff coat or just a buff coat, leather boots, and a helmet. The helmet was often a capeline, though the French cavalry apparently were big fans of the “iron hat” — a helmet that was in the shape of the wide-brim hat that was fashionable at the time (see the photos). Continue reading PENNSIC: My Chevau-léger Outfit→
Came across this half hour Swedish documentary (English subs) on the Battle of Lützen, where Swedish king and military innovator King Gustavus Adolphus.
The documentary goes to the site where the battle takes place with an archeological crew to find out if the mass graves there were filled with Swedes or Germans. They also figure out what the soldiers died mostly from — swords, musket barrels (blunt force) or shot.
It’s not exactly an eye-opening documentary for anyone already interested in the era, but it’s worth a watch just the same as the Thirty Year’s War continues to be a relatively overlooked bit of European history.
This is my second year as General of the East Kingdom Rapier Army and I wanted to do something special for my immediate staff who put in a lot of hard work and effort over the year as well as during Pennsic. They take time out of their vacation to deal with me, do bunch of Woods Walks, come to a ton of meetings, etc. Being on Command Staff is fun but it’s also work that takes one away from other Pennsic fun.
Last year I “paid” my staff with replica French coins that I bought at a vendor at Pennsic. This year I decided to write officer commissions to official recognize their role on my command staff and as leaders in the East Kingdom Rapier Army.
I forget exactly when and under what the context of the conversation was, but Countess Meggie suggested that I write some words for scrolls. So last summer I wrote two for people I knew.
I posted the OSR scroll I wrote for Zohane, but this Award of Arms scroll for my wife was truly the first scroll that I ever wrote. I did a bunch of research into period documents, looking for inspiration but came up empty. So, like with Zohane’s scroll, I used Mistress Alys’ Scroll Madlibs as some inspiration and then added in some of my own poetic flair that “sounded period” to my ears.
Last summer I delved into writing words for scrolls. One of them being for one of my Calivers & friends — Zohane Faber. He was to be inducted into the Order of the Silver Rapier at Pennsic.
Zohane has a a late 16th Century Milan persona. Along with being a fencer, he’s a talented and dutiful period chef and head of the Carolingian Cooks Guild, so I wanted to give his OSR a chef’s flair.
To do this, I dug into one of Maestro Martino of Como’s cook books. Maestro Martino of Como has been called the first celebrity chef, and his extraordinary treatise on Renaissance cookery, The Art of Cooking, is the first known culinary guide to specify ingredients, cooking times and techniques, utensils, and amounts. Continue reading Text for Zohane Faber’s OSR Scroll→
This is the last Single Rapier chapter in Alfieri’s manual where he talks briefly about disarms, and then teases some other ideas. Alfieri starts off by talking about how disarming an opponent is no common feat.
Spoiler: The disarms aren’t nearly as ridiculous as this. Probably for the best.