Mail Shirt

Armorer: Bechler (German)

Date: 15th century

Culture: German

Medium: Steel, brass

Dimensions: L. 36 in. (99.5 cm); W. appx. 33 inches (83.9 cm)

Classification: Mail

Credit Line: Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913

Accession Number: 14.25.1540


This mail shirt is rare in being well preserved and having two brass rings at the neck, each struck with an inscription, which is probably the name of its maker (BECHLER). It is constructed from riveted steel rings, while the wrists and lower edge are decorated with borders of riveted brass rings. Although mail offered protection against the cutting edges of sword and battleaxe, it also required an underlayer of quilted fabric, both to make it more comfortable and to protect against the impact of a blow.