Consider This Gauntlet Thrown

Why have a chip on your shoulder when instead you can have a heavy metal glove to smack onto the ground, sounding the satisfying clang of your wrath? Well, maybe you’ve never even heard of said metal glove. In that case…

Meet the Gauntlet:

steel gauntlets

Medieval Steel Gauntlets

This name can be used for several different styles of glove made of anything from fabric to leather to fully-articulated plate armor. Historically, it refers to the metal glove that was a part of the knight’s suit of armor. But, you might say, knights were already in full iron regalia – was it really necessary to strap on a glove, too? Remember that hand-to-hand combat was a main component of war in that day. Take a long look at one of those hefty medieval swords, and there’s no way you’d want one swinging towards your bare hands! Since hands and arms were particularly vulnerable to cuts, gauntlets usually featured an extended cuff to protect part of the forearm. Better safe than fingerless.

Some gauntlets had built in brass knuckles. Just when you thought mobsters had their own original idea…. When a knight made a fist with his gauntlet on, the backhand protection would become prominent from the fist in the area right above the knuckles. In the absence of another weapon, the soldier could throw an effective punch at his opponent and rest assured that his hand was well-protected! However, this was probably only needed in very unique situations – using the original brass knuckles might sound cool, but it’s still no match for a guy with a sword.

medieval gauntlet pair I

Medieval Gauntlet Pair

Knights also had the option of donning a “demi-gauntlet,” which only covered the back of the hand and the wrist. These were typically made from chainmail or padded leather. Though the fingers were not fully protected in this style, the demi-gauntlet allowed for better dexterity and was less weighty than its full-sized counterpart, proving that it was more than demi-good for fighting!

Of course, once firearms took over the battleground, the gauntlet fell to the wayside. But unlike the rest of personal armor, the gauntlet remains a timeless aspect of dueling through the phrase “thrown down the gauntlet,” which means to issue a challenge to an opponent who’s about to get a taste of metal if he don’t shut his fool’s mouth!

To get an actual gauntlet to hurl to the ground, check out our ample selection:

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