The steel buckler with cross on the umbo.
This steel buckler supplied with leather wrist strope for extra punch damage.
The central handle enlarged to fit with the most popular type of gauntlets.
- Weight 1400g
- Diameter: 29.5cm
- Edge: 5mm
- Thickness: 1.7mm
- Thickness of cross: 1.7mm
Buckler (French bouclier “shield“, from Old French boce, bocete, rondelle de poing “boss”) – small, 20-45 cm in diameter, most often a metal round shield. It was designed mainly as an auxiliary weapon with a sword.
The History of the Steel Buckler
The earliest known book on the art of sword fighting, describing the sword and buckler technique is Royal Armouries Ms. I.33. Most experts date the folio around 1300, or between 1270 and 1340. The authorship of the document is attributed to a certain German priest whose name is mentioned in the folio as “Lutegerus”, in the German form “Liutger”.
Based on the contents of this book, it can be said that the buckler fighting technique was popular in Europe of those times. Buckler, according to I.33, just covered an unprotected part of the hand. The fencing process itself is almost exclusively carried out with a blade and guard. It is also noteworthy that buckler was one of the most common forms of shield in the era of plate armor. There is mention of the use of a shield of this type by the Celts, Franks and Byzantines. In Western Europe, the fist shild is widespread in the XII – XIII centuries.
The first references
The first references in French written sources date back to this time. In the XIV century it was also found in Germany and England. In the XVI century, the Italian fencing school, which also used the fighting technique with a buckler, gained a powerful influence among the nobility. The fist shield came into fashion. In the sources of this time, images of knights and ordinary warriors armed with bucklers are very frequent. They are carrying them on the battlefield and in normal life. This allows us to conclude that sword and buckler fighting systems were very common and effective not only in combat. The shield was worn on a belt or hook at the waist, sometimes on the hilt of a sword.
By the end of the XVIth century, the Venetian fencing school abandoned the fist shield. Left arm became armed with a parrying dagger. The XVIth century was the sunset of the sword and buckler technique.
The Usage and Buckler Techniques
The use of two-handed weapons, such as pikes, halberds, and two-handed swords, in the late Middle Ages forced the infantry to abandon large shields. However, in short-range combat, the buckler was absolutely necessary. The shield could not only passively protect against enemy weapons, but could also be used as an additional weapon.
The lightness of the shield and the curved center made it convenient to deflect the blow. Such a parry left the attacker open for a quick counterattack, and the strength and sharp edges made it possible to strike directly with the shield.
Medieval manuscripts contain descriptions and images of various techniques for using buckler in battle. Nevertheless, all these techniques can be reduced to the following:
- Deflector technique: the lightness and curved shape of the shield makes it ideal for repelling attacking blades
- Hand protection: the main use of a buckler to protect an unarmed hand or sword hand.
- Floating armor: the buckler is held on the outstretched hand facing the opponent. This method of defense reduces the area of the body that is open for attacks.
- Blinder: the buckler is often used as a kind of shelter for the blade of the sword, which allows to hide the direction of the next blow.
- Binder: lightweight and small size allow the use of buckler in grappling.
- Metal fist: a steel buckler could be used to directly attack with a flat side or edge.