One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A circular plate on a spear or lance designed to protect the hand.
- ‘The vamplate was seldom used in warfare’
- ‘The edge of the central hole is pierced with three holes for the nails that attached the vamplates to a lance.’
- ‘The lance tends to slide backwards, and so a roundel is developed either ahead of the hand as a vamplate, or in front of the armpit as a ring or grapper.’
- ‘Medieval knights developed lancing for jousting as well as for open charges, and by the 14th and 15th centuries they'd added vamplates to the lances and lance rests to their breastplates.’
- ‘We don't see lances with vamplates until the 14th century, so until that point, any spear is a potential lance as well.’
Middle English: from Anglo-Norman French vauntplate, from avant ‘before’ + plate ‘thin plate’. Compare with vambrace.
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