A shield boss, or umbo, is a round, convex or conical piece of material at the centre of a shield. Shield 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 As time went on and heater shields with curved bodies became more popular, and enarmes superseded the bar grip, the boss became more of an ornamental piece. More information...
Shield boss with ornate brim, blackened in Flames
- Inner diameter of the spherical cap is approx. 135mm
- Minimal width of the brim is approx. 31mm
- High approx. 53mm
- Made of authentic carbon steel
- Material approx. 2mm
Often, 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 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.