Pretty sure two of those are not of armour on women (One is a painting and of a leg riding astride a horse and I’m sure that would have popped up on my radar long ago if it was a woman-I have a few Jeanne d’Arc and Bradamante folders.) Oooh speaking of which, I adore Germanic gear of this time. They also have all that etching… Yeah…. not all of it is pretty foliage or noble deeds and words… Not sure if the Italians and English were so naughty but I can see a few masters popping in a little joke somewhere. Must find sources for the German stuff…..

The corset is almost certainly a medical device. This is a tiny image but you can see small holes around the edges, that is for securing a lining, probably padded. 

‘… they should wear fine iron corsets with holes in so that they are not too heavy, and they will be so well fitted and padded that they will not cause any injury. They would be changed often if the invalid does not achieve the three dimensions. And for those girls who grow, it would have to be changed every three months, more or less as necessary: for otherwise, instead of doing good, it would do harm’.

Ambroise Pare, Ouvres, 1585 (19thC copy, translated to English)

ZOMG! I usually reference NCBI in my Rheumatoid natterings, now costume crossover! Good source of info, peer reviewed articles and all that.

Note that here “change” almost certainly does’t mean removed and cleaned, it will mean replaced to accommodate a growing and changing body. I did a mini essay on metal corsets (or stays) a while back, comparing those that are genuine the above an the one at the KCI) with 19thC forgeries and a weird one that was suggested as a shop sign but I think was another orthopedic device.

Even though it is highly decorative it’s not a fashion item. I may need to buy some finger splints and if I do they will be these puppies:

Medical devices need not be ugly to be functional. Sadly we forget that. I’d also love to get in touch with a 3D printer and scanner to get wrist splints that fit my deformities and so stabilise rather than push my bones around.

As for the rest, I think one is a fashion editorial, another is a jouster, another is recycled tyre tubes an yet another is a leather arm piece with corset that has gone around tumblr on it’s own merits. I probably could source all these except I’m tired and didn’t create the set in the first place.

And that may sum up in a nutshell why I consider myself a nerd as well as a geek. Sorry for the lack of primary sources, the Pare stuff though is fascinating. You can also read pretty much any Valerie Steele authored book or article to get a realistic understanding of corsetry through history. It’s less dramatic but far more interesting than our modern myths about the horrors of corsets.

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