14-15th Century Rounded Elbow Cops

By Beatrice Anderson,2014-12-03 15:59
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14-15th Century Rounded Elbow Cops

     th14-15 Century Rounded Elbow Cops

    With Rondels

    Created by

    Ld. Christopher mac an Conaing Canton of Elvegast, Windmasters’ Hill

    MKA Chris Cunning

    203-C Foliage Circle

    Cary, NC 27511


Original Artifact

    As of this date no elbow cops using this style are currently in existence. As such, it is not possible to determine the exact materials used in construction. We can however

    hypothesize that they would have been of similar construction of

    other elbow cops of that time, i.e. mild steel of 16 gauge or

    stronger. The pattern for the elbow cops and rondels created is thbased off of effigies made in England during the 14 and 15

    centuries. These pieces all display Knights in armor using

    elbow cops with rondels either secured with a rivet or leather


    Sources used

    The elbow and rondel pattern were originally drafted by Master

    Eldrid Tremayne, LSCA, and the pattern was documented using

    the following books:

    Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight, David Edge. Crescent

    Books: 1993. Pp. 74, 75, 78, 80

    Catalogue of Rubbings of Brasses and Incised Slabs, Muriel

    Clayton. Her Majesty’s Stationary Office: 1915. Plates 2, 4, 16.

    The Horizon Book of the Middle Ages, Morris Bishop.

    American Heritage Publishing Co: 1968. p. 118

    Method of Creation

    The elbow halves* and rondel plates were marked and cut from

    16 gauge steel, shaped using various dishing bowls**, and then

    welded*** together to form roughly rounded elbow cops. They

    were then dished into a true rounded form using more dishing

    bowls and planishing. After dishing was completed, the edges

    of the elbows and rondels were cold rolled using stakes, and then given a .188 hole on each side of the elbow and in the center of the rondel for later assembly. The sides of the elbows were flattened using a planishing hammer to provide proper shape, trimmed, and then adjusted with a hammer and anvil to properly fit the owner’s arm. The elbow cops and rondel were ground and polished**** to a high shine, and the interior of the elbows painted to resist rusting. The cop and rondel were then assembled using .188 brass rivets, steel washers, and strapping rings.

    The brass buckles were assembled using a sand cast buckle and brass wire, cleaned and polished, and finally mounted onto leather straps which were in turn attached to the elbows.

Differences from Period

     thth*Difference from period piece: Elbows constructed during the 14 and 15 centuries

    were made of a single piece. Two halves are used in this case for ease of construction

    and to provide greater overall strength.

    **Difference from period technique: Elbows of this period were usually raised rather than dished.

    ***Difference from period technique: Oxy-Acetylene welding did not exist during this time period.

    *****Difference from period technique: Grinding and polishing were done using grinding and buffing wheels mounted to a motor. In period, grinding would have been performed using large wheels powered by non-electric means (hand, foot, mill, etc). Polishing would have been done by hand. Modern techniques were used to speed up the process.

Self Criticism

    Overall I felt they came out rather well. The main issue I have with the finished product is the rolling of the edges on the cops. They could have been more uniform, but Master Eldrid has informed me that rolling edges at angles such as this requires a great deal of hammer control that comes from experience, and that the rolling is very good for my experience level.


     thThe brass buckles are sand cast from a 14 century

    original currently in the collection of Master Eldrid Tremayne, cast by Master Eldrid Tremayne.

    No Laurels were injured in the making of these elbows.

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