Allen Antiques

Mail Sleeve - M-15-overall Mail Sleeve - M-15-elbow-a Mail Sleeve - M-15-scale-a Mail Sleeve - M-15-inside-ring-detail Mail Sleeve - M-15-outside-ring-detail Mail Sleeve - M-15-tailoring Mail Sleeve - M-15-detailWithScaleInside Mail Sleeve - M-15-detailWithScaleOutside Mail Sleeve - M-15-detail-1 Mail Sleeve - M-15-detail-2

Mail Sleeve 16th century

Formed of small rings with app. 7/32 inch inside diameter measured with a ruler. Wire thickness measured with a dial gauge app. .030 in. OD of rings app. .270 varying noticeably as many of the rings are slightly oval. For these rings the ID would be app. .210 inch or 5.4 mm. This is consistent with the rough measurement. The sleeve includes an area covering the shoulder and armpit, full sleeve with bend at the elbow and tapering to the form of the arm. Rings of rounded section with flattened area for the rivet. All rings riveted. Wedge rivets with the back set flush and front forming a a shallow point. Rings of consistent size. No signs of decorative rings at the edge of the gusset. There are a very few remaining rings that are likely brass at the cuff. Small losses, but relatively sound. Missing rings have been replaced with butted rings to stabilize the fabric. The total surface area is 564 sq. inches, given the density of the mail this means there are app. 18,340 rings in this sleeve. It weighs app. 3 lb. 5 oz. (1500 g). The sleeve is tailored using a line of reductions on the upper arm running in a line from near the corner of the cross-grain joint of the armpit to a place just shy of the elbow. It also has two lines of row reductions in the forearm. This sleeve is larger than the other one and less dense. Analysis, repairs and marking by Robert MacPherson.

Detail images show the edge of the shoulder area over an inch scale. Microscopic images show: first a missing rivet in the iron rings with a trapezoidal hole, second shows a missing rivet in the latten cuff. The cusped edge on the solid latten ring is generally considered evidence of punching too close to the edge of a previous hole. Detailed images and analysis by Mart Shearer.


If you have any questions, please send them to Wade Allen

This site last updated Wed Jun 30 13:30:53 EDT 2021