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The use of Baleen for Arms, Armour and Heraldic Crests in Medieval Britain

  • Ralph Moffat (a1), James Spriggs (a2) and Sonia O'Connor (a3)

Abstract

The recent identification of whale baleen from a medieval archaeological context in Perth raises the issue of what uses were made of baleen in the medieval period. This note investigates the military uses to which this unusual material was put.

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Abbreviations

BL British Library, London
BN Bibliothèque nationale de France
OED Oxford English Dictionary
PRO Public Record Office
RAL Royal Armouries Library, Leeds
TNA The National Archives
BL, Additional 46919 (collection of treatises, poems, sermons, etc)
BL, Harleian 6194 (late 15th-century Scots heraldic treatise)
BN, fonds français 2249 (15th-century chivalric MS)
Chantilly, Musée Condé, MS 869
RAL, MS 1.875 (a loan of armour, 10 July 1282)
TNA: PRO DURH 3/1 (register of Richard Kelloe, Bishop of Durham)
TNA: PRO E 101 (King's Remembrancer: accounts various)
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