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Set MED01

Medieval Townsfolk 1

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 2011
Contents 5 figures
Poses 5 poses
Material Resin
Colours Cream
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)


The medieval period, particularly the later part, saw considerable growth in towns. Towns could grow for various reasons, but many were principally markets where travelling merchants and locals could buy or exchange goods. On market days the population of a town would swell considerably, but those that actually lived there were mainly merchants, tradesmen and professionals – those that could afford to buy what they needed rather than till the land directly. As such they were usually fairly well off, and liked to dress accordingly.

The middle three figures in our photograph are clearly quite wealthy and are happy to advertise the fact by the standard of their dress. All have the sort of gowns and coat that the peasantry would not be able to afford, and two also wear hats with liripipes wound round them and draped over the side in a fashion current in the later 14th and early 15th centuries, which dates these figures. One man seems to hold a bag, perhaps of coins, as well as the purse he has on his belt, while another has a stick which is clearly an affectation rather than a necessary aid to walking.

The first figure above is holding a book, and therefore one of a minority that could read and write. Perhaps an administrator or concerned with the gathering of tax, he is more simply dressed and likely to be part of the running of the town rather than one of its more illustrious citizens. The last figure too is fairly simply dressed, but by no means a peasant, so all these figures look entirely suited to a late medieval urban environment.

With no bases these are apparently intended to be displayed, and there are plenty of good reasons to do so. Each is a little masterpiece of sculpting, with wonderfully natural clothing and terrifically expressive faces. Some undercutting shows that these resin figures, which require no assembly, were produced in a flexible mould, which helps to improve the natural look, but these are everything you could ask for in a miniature figure.

Nikolai have always produced good work and these are just the same, so while their utility is almost entirely civilian they would look superb in a small town scene.

Further Reading
"A Pictorial History of Costume" - Dover - Wolfgang Bruhn and Max Tilke - 9780486435428
"Life in a Medieval Town" - Amberley - Peter Hammond - 9781848681262
"Medieval Costume in England and France" - Dover - Mary Houston - 9780486290607
"Medieval Costume, Armour and Weapons" - Dover - Eduard Wagner, Zoroslava Drobna & Jan Durdik - 9780486412405
"The Chronicle of Western Costume" - Thames & Hudson - John Peacock - 9780500511510

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