The Egyptian and Sumerian armies already used taut leather in the frame as a shield. First real shields were made from wattle and covered with fabric. Later, fabric was replaced with leather; wattle was replaced with wood. Shields were improved metal parts in later times. Plated wood shields were developed. At first, the shield had edge with metalwork and metal umbo. The shield was hung on the arm or on the shoulder using leather and tendon loops.
Painted coats of arms of warriors began to appear on the shields in the 12th century. Escutcheons were formed.
Shields and weapons were developed together. The weapons were more effective the shields had to be more durable. Pavises were special types of shields to protection against shots from the bows and crossbows. Sizes and shapes of the shields were influenced by combat strategies. For example: war cavalry used smaller shields than infantry. Special tournament shields were developed in the Late Middle Ages. They were adapted by various types of tournament duels.
You will find various types of shields in our e-shop: ancient shields, scutum, Viking shields, Celtic shields, kite shields, medieval shields, medieval spherical shields, shields with coat of arms, pavises, bucklers, umbos (shield bosses) and decorative shields.