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Old 25th May 2022, 11:29 AM   #1
Jack Fletcher
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Default African chainmail

Good Morning.

I have a question for those who have knowledge and experience in chainmail. This item is listed as being North African 19th century chainmail but im not too sure.
I've attached a photo of the whole shirt and also a close up of the links and just hoped someone could advise if it is African and could be from the 19th Century.

Many thanks

Jack
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Old 25th May 2022, 11:37 AM   #2
Lee
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The reliably authentic Sudanese chainmail defenses that I have seen have had riveted rings. I worry that this example appears to be made of uniform wire merely butted.
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Old 25th May 2022, 11:42 AM   #3
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Yes i agree the Sudanese mail ive seen differs from this although most of it looks for mounted troops like the baggara with the ling spits in the shirt but I am far from an expert and just wanted to ask others opinions
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Old 25th May 2022, 12:00 PM   #4
fernando
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May i dare say that the rings ends are not even hammered together .


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Last edited by fernando; 25th May 2022 at 01:29 PM. Reason: word missing
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Old 25th May 2022, 12:30 PM   #5
colin henshaw
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Interesting piece, it could be Sudanese as this jacket I had for sale some years ago also had similar simple butted rings...
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Old 27th May 2022, 09:40 AM   #6
Jack Fletcher
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Yes looks similar in the thickness and also how the rings are constructed but the pattern of how they are all formed looks slightly different.

Maybe its a case of me seeing what I want to see with the chainmail as im really wanting some sudanese Armour
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Old 28th May 2022, 04:02 AM   #7
Battara
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Also looks like a 4:1 pattern. This is the most common.
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Old 28th May 2022, 09:10 AM   #8
colin henshaw
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There was a publication "Sudan Notes and Records" (1920s-1930s) that had an article on Sudanese chain mail making in one of its issues. I don't have a copy to hand, but it would certainly be useful for this subject...
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Old 28th May 2022, 10:36 AM   #9
Lee
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Though not specifically relevant to Sudanese mail, this online article from The Collector may be of interest: Mail Armor (Chainmail): History and 11 Different Types by Civilization
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Old 28th May 2022, 04:37 PM   #10
Tim Simmons
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Default African chain mail

Nigerian Panoply arms and armour of the Northern Region. A. D. H, Bivar 1964 Department of Antiquities Federal Republic of Nigeria.

short extract.

Chain Armour, to offer effective protection against pointed weapons, is necessarily composed of riveted links. In modern times mail shirts have been made from butted links or split rings.1. Although these would give some protection from sword cuts and grazing strokes, their vulnerability to thrusting weapons suggests that the purpose of such armour would be more ceremonial than utilitarian. I have examined one shirt composed of split rings at Birnin Kebbi, and two butted suits at Maiduguri, but apart from such exceptions, the mass of Nigerian mail has riveted links.
1 A.J. Arkell, 'The making of chainmail at Omdurman' Kush, 1956, p.83 f.

Keep in mind how expensive riveted chain mail is, the butted mail may well have been a budget version offering some protection that would be a lot better than none. So I would not want dismiss it use in battle completely. It would be a lot better than a cotton shirt.
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Old 28th May 2022, 11:07 PM   #11
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Tim,

Here is a link to Arkell's article on making chainmail in Omdurman.

http://www.erikds.com/pdf/tmrs_pdf_9.pdf

Best,
Ed
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Old 29th May 2022, 06:45 AM   #12
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Very cool.
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