Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Redshank circa 1570s

Dave Swift is in the photograph above dressed in authentic attire based off of the illustration by Dutch artist Lucas de Heere circa 1577.  Photo courtesy of the lovely and very talented Irish photographer Niamh O Rourke.  The helmet is a German made morion comb type which was very typical to Gaelic warriors of the era.  The sword in the photo is a two handed Claoímh Mór, which was the preferred weapon of the Redshanks.

(above) A copy of the original de Heere drawing from the 1570s.  The original was lost in a fire in the 1700s.  The illustration interesting for several reasons, the use of short trews being one.  There has been speculation that the bottom helm line of the short trews on the copy of the original illustration was added in Victorian times for modesty sake and that the original illustration was of the Redshank naked from the waste down.  However, a close examination of the copy does show material and shading of the the short trews.  The illustration is what it appears to be, a type of short pants, or trews, that were in fashion among Gaels at this time.

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