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Christopher Antiques

Early 15th Century Canine Combat Armour, Agincourt Period 'War-Hound' Spiked Iron Collar

Early 15th Century Canine Combat Armour, Agincourt Period 'War-Hound' Spiked Iron Collar

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An ancient antiquity that one never normally sees outside of a grand museum collection, such as at the Tower of London or Nuremberg Castle. Comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

An original piece of very rare 15th Century canine armour, from the period of King Henry Vth, and the Battle of Agincourt (1415), era. In smith forged iron, with it's multiple rows of spikes within a frame body, complete with it's circular neck shape form intact.

In battle the neck of the dog was most vulnerable from attack from such as an enemy’s sword, but once worn, this collar could defend the hound from many strikes and blows of a blade, plus, if the hound could pin an attacker to the ground, the spikes would defeat any attempt to pull or push off the attack by gripping the hound around the neck, it’s only area of weakness.

The ever faithful ‘war hound’ has its fame and renown littered through history, both ancient and modern. Today they are used in many armies for numerous purposes, but in early history they were the faithful companion of the fortunate knight and his followers, going back millennia, to Ancient Rome, the Germanic Goths and the Ancient Britons Iceni.

The same type of war hound collar as was worn by the British knight, Sir Peirs de Leigh’s, faithful mastiff, that stood heroically above his master’s wounded body at the Battle of Agincourt. Defending his fallen master with his life for many hours against all the incoming attacking French knights and their yeomen on the bloody and desperate battlefield. Thanks to that hound’s tenacity, loyalty and devotion, most incredibly, both he and his master survived that most bloody of battles.

On 12 August 1415, Henry sailed for France, where his forces besieged the fortress at Harfleur, capturing it on 22 September. Afterwards, Henry decided to march with his army across the French countryside towards Calais despite the warnings of his council. On 25 October, on the plains near the village of Agincourt, a French army intercepted his route. Despite his men-at-arms being exhausted, outnumbered and malnourished, Henry led his men into battle, decisively defeating the French, who suffered severe losses. It is often argued that the French men-at-arms were bogged down in the muddy battlefield, soaked from the previous night of heavy rain, and that this hindered the French advance, allowing them to be sitting targets for the flanking English and Welsh archers. Most were simply hacked to death while completely stuck in the deep mud. Nevertheless, the victory is seen as Henry's greatest, ranking alongside the Battle of Crecy (1346) and the Battle of Poitiers (1356) as the greatest English victories of the Hundred Years' War.

Sir Piers Legh II (died 16 June 1422), also known as Sir Piers de Legh and Peers Legh, was the second generation of the Leghs who was wounded in the Battle of Agincourt. His Mastiff stood over him and protected him for many hours through the battle.
Amazingly that incredible faithful and brave hound returned safely to Legh's home in England with his master, to unbridled praise and local admiration. It was to become the foundation of the Legh Hall mastiffs. Five centuries later, this pedigree figured prominently in founding the modern English Mastiff breed and an old stained glass window remains in the drawing room of Legh Hall portraying Sir Piers and his devoted mastiff. He was injured again in action in 1422 and died as a result of his wounds in Paris. He was Buried at St Michael's church, Macclesfield in the Legh chapel, which had been built to receive his body.
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