Shield bosses, umbos

A shield boss, or umbo, is a round, convex or conical piece of material at the centre of a shield. Shield bosses (or sometimes, just "bosses") are usually made of thick metal but could also be made of wood. The boss was originally designed to deflect blows from the centre of round shields, though they also provided a place to mount the shield's grip. As time went on and heater shields with curved bodies became more popular, and enarmes superseded the bar grip, the boss became more of an ornamental piece.

Shield boss from steel

Shield boss from steel

Detail 15,00 € In stock

Shield boss of steel

Shield boss of steel

Detail 17,00 € In stock

Germanic Shield Boss

Germanic Shield Boss

Detail 30,00 € In stock

Roman umbo - hexagonal

Roman umbo - hexagonal

Detail 36,00 € In stock

Roman umbo

Roman umbo

Detail 36,00 € In stock

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Shield bosses, umbos

Often, shield bosses are not present on non-circular shields due to the differences in technique; with a round shield, one makes a punching motion towards an oncoming blow, while with a heater or kite shield, attacks are blocked by pivoting the shield about the body. A shield boss provides a significant advantage for deflecting blows when using a punching motion, but is not very effective when using a pivot to block an attack.

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