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Spaulders are pieces of armour in a harness of plate armour. Typically, they are a single plate of steel or iron covering the shoulder with bands (lames) joined by straps of leather or rivets. By the 1450s, however, they were often attached to the upper cannon or rerebrace, a feature that continued into the 16th century.
According to some pictorial evidence of the early Middle Ages, such as the Barberini Ivory, Roman officers wore single spaulders with pteruges attached to protect their upper arms and shoulders.
The use of spaulders developed in the West during the 14th century, appearing more often in the 1400s. Unlike pauldrons, spaulders do not cover the armpits. Instead, the gaps may be covered by besagews or simply left bare, exposing the mail beneath.
Though the use of spaulders has declined, craftsmen and machine shops still exist which can craft a pair of spaulders for use in a museum or in simulated combat during reenactments.
- DeVries, Kelly; Smith, Robert (2007). Medieval Weapons. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO. p. 178.
- Arador Armour Library guide to creating replica spaulders