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The poleyne (sometimes spelt “poleyn”) or knee-cop was a very early development of medieval plate armour – preceding all other sections, apart from the cuirass (breastplate). We must suppose that there was good reason for thus reinforcing the mail defence on this part of the body. Probably this was due to the fact that the shield became shorter at this period, and also because the position of the wearer when mounted exposed the knee, a very delicate piece of anatomy, to the attacks of the foot-soldier.
These 16 gauge knee-cops weigh 0.94kg (combined). If necessary, knee-cops should be bent inwards slightly, so they grip the sides of your knees. Some other knee-cops on sale do not fully cover the sides of the knee, (because they double as elbow-cops) hence, they can’t be bent inwards to aid a secure fitting. The straps are a really great length: 26.5cm + 10cm (excluding the buckle) so this will fit any knee, even if you choose to use padding beneath (such as sheepskin). Too many knee-cops on the internet have far shorter straps, to the point of being insufficient. For extra staying-up power, you could drill 2 small holes in the top of each cop and sew them onto a pair of padded trousers. This is not necessary in our opinion, and we don’t want to spoil the pristine look of the cops by making perforations, however, it’s very easy to do with a drill, and this operation can be performed by any buyer.
Our poleynes have fan plates (or “shells”). Fan plates look extremely dapper and are sometimes mistaken as merely ornamental flourishes as they don’t appear to cover anything, but this projection was in fact designed to prevent a blow from a weapon like a billhook, flail or halberd, wrapping around and landing in the popliteal fossa (knee pit). Also, when the wearer sat on a horse, the fan plate would give extra cover on the lower portion of the bicep femoris, which if seriously cut would cause an immobilization of the leg.
One pair - left & right
Free delivery to Australia & New Zealand.