The evolution of black and white or fleur-de-lis high comb morions

Bellwood, David R., Bellwood, Orpha, and Ilming, Thomas (2021) The evolution of black and white or fleur-de-lis high comb morions. Arms and Armour, 18 (2). pp. 163-183.

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Black and white or fleur-de-lis high comb morions are distinctive helmets of the late 16th century and early 17th century. We constructed a typology of black and white high comb morions, identifying 52 forms and seven major types. We then used cladistic analyses to explore the potential relationships between forms. The analyses suggested that morion forms evolved rapidly in the late sixteenth century (c.1570-80s), with three major phases, each characterized by different constructional features (especially in brim rosette washers) and patterns of ornamentation. The phases appear to be chronological rather than geographic, with Nuremberg probably being the primary location for their manufacture throughout this period. Produced between approximately 1570 and 1610, black and white morions are commonly associated with town or castle guards or city militia. Although some forms can be linked with specific locations, e.g. Hochosterwitz castle, the various forms were probably spread widely across Germany, with extensive intermixing.

Item ID: 70575
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1749-6268
Keywords: black and white armour, evolution, high comb morion, manufacture, Munich town guard, phylogenetics
Copyright Information: Published version: © 2021 The Trustees of the Royal Armouries. Accepted version may be made open access in an Institutional Repository after an 18 month embargo.
Date Deposited: 15 Dec 2021 03:46
FoR Codes: 43 HISTORY, HERITAGE AND ARCHAEOLOGY > 4302 Heritage, archive and museum studies > 430299 Heritage, archive and museum studies not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 28 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 2801 Expanding knowledge > 280113 Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology @ 100%
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