Allen Antiques

Mail Sleeve - M-16-overall Mail Sleeve - M-16-elbow Mail Sleeve - M-16-edge-detail Mail Sleeve - M-16-tailoring Mail Sleeve - M-16-detailWithScaleOutside Mail Sleeve - M-16-detailWithScaleInside Mail Sleeve - M-16-detail-1 Mail Sleeve - M-16-detail-2 Mail Sleeve - M-16-detail-3

Mail Sleeve 16th century

Formed of small rings with an inside diameter slightly over 5/32 inch. round section wire was used to make these rings. The rings in the body section are thicker than the rings at the end of the sleeves. In the body the wire is app. .038 in in diameter, the end of the sleeve is .029. The outside diameter of the rings is app. .240 in. With area covering the shoulder and armpit, full sleeve with bend at the elbow and tapering to the form of the arm. Iron rings of round cross section all riveted. The flattened area at the rivet is slightly bevelled on both sides forming a cross section that is roughly a diamond shape. Wedge rivets flush on the inside and forming a shallow point on the outside. Very small rings. Decorative border of copper alloy (brass) rings at the edge of the gusset and at the wrist. Border of alternating solid and riveted rings of 4 rows of solid and 3 rows of riveted rings. Small and medium losses, but overall form remains. Butted rings have been added to stabilize the fabric. The total surface area is 507 sq. inches, given the density of the mail this means that there are app. 24,350 rings. It weighs app. 4 lb. 9.5 oz. (2175 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 somewhat shorter than the other one and more dense. Analysis, repairs and marking by Robert MacPherson.

Detail images show the edge of the shoulder area over an inch scale. Microscopic images: the first shows the exterior view of the riveted rings, the second shows the interior of the riveted rings, the third shows a sprung ring wih the rivet intact. Microscopic 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