Targes are generally, but not always, round shields between 18 in and 21 in (45–55 cm) in diameter. The inside of the targe was formed from two very thin layers of flat wooden boards, with the grain of each layer at right angles to the other. They were fixed together with small wooden pegs, forming plywood. The front was covered with a tough cowhide, which was often decorated with embossed celtic style patterns. This was fixed to the wood with many brass, or in some cases, silver, nails, and occasionally brass plates were also fixed to the face for strength and decoration. Some targes had center bosses of brass, and a few of these could accept a long steel spike, which screwed into a small "puddle" of lead that was fixed to the wood, under the boss. When not in use, the spike could be unscrewed and placed in a sheath on the back of the targe.
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