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Shields up:

The word ‘Targe’ was used for a shield in Old English. Targes in Scotland were usually round and were generally made of wood covered with leather and embossed and studded in brass. The leather on the back covered a thin steel plate attached to an arm strap and a hand grip. The inside of the targe was tightly packed with wool.

The central boss of the targe was, in some cases, false. The true boss lay beneath it and the unscrewed portion lined with horn acted as a drinking cup. If the boss had a spike set in it, the drinking cup required a finger held over the hole to prevent the liquid running out.

The targe pictured is from an eighteenth century pattern, with leather stretched over wood.

“Some time in the eighteenth century, the word ‘target’ (meaning little shield) came to mean an object to be aimed at.”