Higgins Armory

I’ve been to Higgins Armory before. David and I went there in 2004 when he came to visit. After Yen and I decided on a staycation for Presidents Day, we put it on our list for a visit. Here’s what you see as you drive toward it – rather unmistakable.

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And here I am next to the front door. It looks rather like a swanky old hotel (I think).

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The swanky hotel theme continues with these terrific elevator doors.

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One of the things we learned during our visit is that the animals what would have helped out knights got protection too. This is armor for a boar hound.

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And of course the same skills that went into making fine armor would have been (and was) applied to other arts. This display case held little knick knacks that I suppose were made during the knighting off-season.

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I saw a throne and just had to sit in it. You understand.

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There were a few shields on the wall as you came into the main hall. No note or sign, but we agreed they were pretty terrific.

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Japanese arrows.

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I really liked this helmet, also Japanese. It occurs to me suddenly how different this post would be if it were written by a man, particularly an Yen. It wouldn’t be all, “Look at this! It looks like a shell!” and he would have included a lot more photos. I can’t help how I am.

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Here I am trying to find the app that will read a QR code. Stupid me – I should have known that the target of a QR code woud be draft-level content and not worth the bother. But check out those crazy swords! They’re Indian, I believe.

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This is a kneecap protector!

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Sassy gladiator hats.

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And speaking of sassy, check out this guy in the middle. This display represents the three types of armor. Left to right: practical, (relatively) light-weight for wearing in actual battle. The joints are well protected so swords can’t get at your fleshy bits. Next, paradewear. This would have been made with a fancy, light metal that wouldn’t stand up to being knocked soundly against a door jamb as you try to leave the room. Lots of fleshy bits would have been exposed, because you’d wear fancy clothes underneath and want to show those off. And certainly your face is exposed so the ladies can see you and sigh. And finally, tournamentwear. You’d wear this while jousting, so it was thick, heavy stuff designed to stop a lance while still looking good. Note how it has a kind of built in shield over the left breast, exactly where your opponent’s lance would hit (assuming he knows what he’s doing). See? I was paying attention.

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This is a very useful display if you read a lot of fantasy novels as I do. George R R Martin is always going on about what So-and-So’s gorget looks like, and I can’t always be bothered to google while I read. See? A gorget is a neck protector. Only another display later in the museum showed us that gorgets became less and less practical over time and evolved into glorified necklaces.

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Here I am proving I’m burly enough to pick up a longsword. They were smart and made sure I couldn’t accidentally actually wield it.

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We really liked this sword, which grips you back.Also, I don’t know what the card above was saying, but I like how it ends.

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And… I’m taking five. Increasingly I find that when I stand or stand and take the slow shuffling steps of a museum visit, my extreme lower back gets very sore. It’s been doing that since Italy. Anyone have thoughts on that? Or should I just go back to Dr Rob and find out what’s what?

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I should have asked Yen to take a close up of this guy’s face. Not only is he hippy in the extreme, he’s got a little mouth slit designed in an unmistakable grin.

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Yen took this knight in stages thinking that we could knit the photos together to make one big, detailed shot. Only I am just amused by how skinny the legs are compared to the rest of him.

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“And which cod piece?” “Black Russian!” You can’t look at this guy and not quote Blackadder.

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He’s certainly proud of himself.

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It’s funny. My memory of this place was a lot more stuff down the middle, such as this jousting display. I’m sure it’s possible they’ve just changed it over time. Or I’ve got it confused with the Met.

Not pictured: It was Talk Like a Pirate Day, and we spent this whole visit listening to a very strange play put on by a couple of women in 17th-century (my estimate) dresses and pirate hats. They seemed to be telling stories of being a woman and a pirate at the time, but they also seemed to be going for an Academy Award. We were both pretty alarmed by the enthusiasm, volume, and vocabulary of it. We waited quite a while for them to stop so we could get a full shot of the hall, but it just went on and on. I’m not sure how the kids gathered around were enjoying it, but it certainly went beyond my attention span.

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I don’t know what’s up with this knight’s face, but he’s certainly well protected. Just point him in the right direction and let him go.

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This helm is shaped like a friendly wolf. I don’t expect he was meant to be friendly.

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And last is worth mentioning this building across the street. It’s the Odd Fellow’s Home (really). It’s all boarded up and slated to be demolished in April so condos can be built. I wish instead that someone would renovate it and make the condos inside of it. But I suppose the former is cheaper. It’s such a shame.

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