Bogdanov A.E. K voprosu o vozniknovenii praktiki klejmlenija dospeha v nemeckojazychnyh zemljah [On the Origin of Armour-marking in the German-speaking Lands]. Istoricheskoe oruzhievedenie [Weapons History Journal], № 9, pp. 180 — 203.
Abstract: Master mark is one of the main basics for the correct attribution of the European armour. However, on studying the armour suits, manufactured before the second half of the 15th century, scholars are inevitably faced with the problem that no country saving Italy practiced armour marking in that time.
The aim of the article is to point out and trace the origin of armour marking outside of Italy, and it can be rightfully considered as a turning point in the history of the European armour manufacturing.
The author describes the backstory of existence and interconnections of Italian and German gunsmith schools in the 15th century. On the grounds of the analysis of armour suits, made in the German-speaking lands, he proposes a thesis that the practice of armour marking in the German dukedoms started earlier than in 1460-ies, and this fact supplements the sight presented by Allan Williams.
The origin of armour marking practice in the German-speaking lands is naturally and inseparably connected with the technology of iron production and processing due to using high furnaces and water streams. In this vein an Innsbruck master of Italian origin Conrad Treyz the Elder comes to the carpet, as it was he who introduced technological innovations to the German armour manufacturing. Analyzing primary sources, the author links the role of Innsbruck as a lading gunsmith center of that time with the development of iron production technology and the emergence of armour marking practice.
At the end of the article A. Bogdanov states that from the middle of the 15th century on in Innsbruck under the duke patronage the work houses and set of craftsmen capable to manufacture high quality armour comparable in their properties with the Italian pieces had appeared. The location of manufacture was probably determined by the felt-need of water energy appliance both for polishing mills and hammers and for the production of high quality metal itself.
Thus, the combination of the patronage, nature factors, and adopted Italian hardening technology in Innsbruck laid the basis for the emergence of marked armour, produced of high quality metal in the German-speaking lands.
Keywords: armour suit, master mark, Innsbruck, steel, metal, technology, craftsmen, the plattners, Treyz.