These items are under consideration for the Nov. 2016 Study Session. The inital list is composed of some interesting new items added to the collection since the last session. I have added an assortment of burgonets and breastplates that provide good comparisons to those on the new half suit and the other close helmet (for comparison to the new ones).



Breastplate circa 1510-20

Globose form with a shallow central crease. Neck with angular inward turned roll. Arms with simple flaired and inward-turned gussets. Waist flaired to carry the fauld. Very early transition form between late 15th to early 16th c. forms and the more rounded form typical of the Maximilian style. Upper turn and gussets similar to A-216. Earlier form illustrated by A-66 and A-239. Slightly later forms illustrated by A-225 and A-216. [inv. num. A-281]

Cuisse for the left leg

Cuisse for the left leg circa 1510

Spanish (possibly Flemish or Italian). Formed of a short cuisse plate, a long demi-greave, a central cop and two lames above and below the cop. All formed with a central crease. The cuisse plate slightly boxed and the outside and dished to conform to the thigh. The upper edge of the cuisse bordered by a recessed band and hollow roll. The cop with a raised central ridge and another bridging the transition from the cop to the wing. The wing with a recessed border. The demi-greave cut away on the inside of the bottom and bordered by a recessed band and roll similar to the top of the cuisse. The outside cut off straight. A single buckle remains on the outside of the demi-greave. There are rivets for securing straps and buckles on the cuisse and knee cop. Sold from the Parsons collection as late 15th c. but the character of the piece - forms of the rolls and boxing much more closely approximates 1510 - similar in many ways to the cuisses on Henry VIII's Silvered and Engraved armour. It appears that this was likely originally rough from the hammer and would likely have been blackened. This is very similar in form to the knees illustrated in Albert F Calvert - Spanish Arms and Armour - plates 17(b) and 99. They are described as late 15th c. Other similar items can be seen in Mann - Notes on the Armour Worn in Spain - Archaeologia LXXXIII for 1933 p. 300 fig. 7 and item # 183 in the Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms 1963 (item number 183) - again identified as late 15th century Spanish.

Provenance: Dr. Peter Parsons Collection (2011), Brian Powers (1980)

Measurements - 15 in. overall height - others on the image. Thickness - cuisse .060-.070 in. cop .050-.060 in. demi-greave .040-.050 in. [inv. num. A-200]

Cuisse with poleyn

Cuisse with poleyn circa 1580

Comprising a one-piece cuisse with poleyn of 4 plates. The cop of deeply rounded form with a small wing. The edge of the cop rises to a point at the center, the outer edge of the lames are cut to form a point in the center and points over the rivets. The top edge of the cuisse, wing and bottom plate with inward-turned rolled roped edges. The rolls are fairly even, the one on the top of the cuisse does taper a little bit. The rolls on the edge of the cop wing are full rolls on the flat portion of the wing but they flatten out and finally disappear in the indented area. The cuisse is shaped to the thigh, creased at the center and has an additional raised and roped line parallel to the top edge. The leg has a band of etched decoration in the form of a set of trophies of armour flanked by roped bands along the center line. The band between the top roll and roped line is etched with a foliate design. The edges of the cop and lame are filed with a simple roped decoration and have notches at the center crease. There are single filed notches on the inner ends of the cop, lame, lower plate and cuisse. The image of the leg with the knee bent illustrates the extent of motion allowed by the armour (almost, it does move a little more under pressure). Strap mounting rivets remain near the top of the cuisse and on the cop. The lower lame has a central slot to be secured to the greave.

Height 14 1/4 in. tall.

Generally varies between .030 and .050 inch thick, mostly .035-.040 in. with some places where it is as thin as .020 in. on the lower plate. [inv. num. A-169]


Arm circa 1430

Extremely rare example of a 15th c. piece of armour. Arm for the left arm. Perhaps from the fortress at Chalcis (Negroponte). Formed of a tubular upper cannon that wraps two thirds of the way around the arm connected to a bluntly-pointed cop with an abbreviated wing by one lame. The cop is then connected to a tulip-shaped vambrace formed of two pieces hinged on the outside by hinges and secured by a strap and buckle on the inside. The cop is connected to the vambrace by two lames. The second lame is attached to the vambrace by means of 3 lateral slots allowing the arm to rotate. The lower edge of the vambrace is bordered by a line of small rivets. The lower cannon is marked by an indistinct maker's mark involving a split cross. The upper edge of the upper plate with a narrow, outward-turned roll and a line of rivets securing a (later) leather used to lace the armour to the arming doublet. The inner plate of the vambrace, one lame, lisiere d'arret, one half of one hinge, and all of the rivets replaced. The character of these restorations is similar to the restorations on the Rhodes pieces in the Royal Armouries. Given Claude Blair's association with the Royal Armouries and the presence of the letters HRR on the inside of the inner vambrace plate it is likely that this piece was restored there (HRR almost certainly represents H. Russell Robinson). From the personal collection of Claude Blair. For similar examples see Stephen V. Granscay, The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armour...., 1933, nos. 76-81, pl. V. The most detailed record of the pieces discovered at Chalcis see C. J Ffoulkes, An Italian Armour from Chalcis in the Ethnological Museum at Athens, Archaeologia, LXII (1911) pp. 381-390.

Measurements 39 cm long. The arm is 15 in. long overall when straight, upper cannon 5 1/2 in. tall at the center of the cop, 4 5/16 in. wide at the top, 4 3/16 in. wide at the bottom. The upper cannon is 8 1/8 in. around the circumference. The roll at the top of the upper cannon is 1/8 in. tall and 3/16 in. deep. Lower cannon 7 1/4 in. long at the center of the cop, 3 7/8 in. wide at the elbow, 2 5/8 in. wide at the wrist. The cop 3 1/4 in. tall at the center, 2 in. tall at the wing, 1 1/2 in. tall at the back. The slots in the vambrace for rotation are 5/8 in. wide. The hinges are 3/4 in. wide, the upper one is 1 3/8 in. long. The inside measurements of the buckle are 3/4 in. on the wide side of the trapezoid, 5/8 in. on the short side and 5/16 in. tall. The thickness varies significantly. The upper cannon is .040-.090 in., mostly .050-.070 in. The thickest part in the center. The cop is .050-060 on the back and .070-.080 on the front. The outer plate of the lower cannon is generally .070-.080 in the upper center and .050-.060 near the wrist. The upper lame is app. .030 in. and the lower one .040 in.

Weight 2 pounds 7.2 ounces (1,110 g). [inv. num. A-186]


Pauldron circa 1500

For the right shoulder. Fluted at the center of the arm and heavily fluted in the back of the main plate. Flutes asymmetric with engraved lines on both sides accenting the form of the flute. Upper edge of the main plate filed to rounded tabs. The rear edge of the main plate with bent down cusps. Center of the main plate with a sculpted peg to secure the lance when held over the shoulder. Originally part of a Stech armour of very high quality. A pair of pauldrons of similar form are illustrated on plate 73 of Katalog Der Leibrustkammer I teil. They are dated 1497. That pair are somewhat more plain. Purportedy from the collection at Schloss Grafenegg. The plates have a very nice form, overall tapering to the arm and flairing out in the front where it would overlap the breastplate and aggressively curved in the back where it would fit over the shoulder blades.

Measurements: Thickness varies mostly between .075 and .050 in. The thickness is a little random, like most authentic pieces, but the front of the main plate and several of the lower plates is the thickest part of the piece. The thickest spot on the main plate is just in front of the post. Some portions of the 3rd and 4th plates reach .080 in. The terminal plate is more generally around .050 in. There is some odd variability, but the general pattern places the thickest material in the front and side in areas which would not be covered by other plates. [inv. num. A-283]

Gauntlet finger

Gauntlet finger circa 1370-1400

English. Three finger plates from a fourteenth century English gauntlet, most likely an hourglass gauntlet. Comprising the first, knuckle and second plates. Main plates decorated with raised ridges at the center bordered by pairs of engraved lines. First plate with slightly domed areas at both ends bordered with a lightly engraved line. Third plate with a slightly domed area at the front that is bent down slightly. Knuckle of domed form with a raised ridge the edges with an engraved line parallel to the edge with plain file decoration like simple roping. Each plate with two rivets to secure them to the foundation arranged down the length of the main plates and on the sides of the knuckle plates. Made of iron. Old, mostly stable oxidized finish on the exterior. Found at Queenhithe, London. Publications: Object and Economy in Medieval Winchester Martin Biddle (Fig 349) Medieval Artifacts Nigel Mills. (Fig 245b) and Armour of the English Knight 1400-1450 by Tobias Capwell page 166 - illustrated along with several separate gadlings in private collections.

Measurements: First plate 1 3/32 in. long, 1 1/8 in wide at the back end, 1 in wide at the front (measured at the very end before the corners are beveled back). Knuckle 1 3/32 in wide, 31/32 long at the side, 15/16 at the center. Third plate 1 3/4 in. long, 1 in wide at the back and 7/8 in wide at the line demarking the shaped area at the end where it starts tapering more. All width measurements performed flat under the curved plates. Thickness: generally .040-.050 with some thick spots up to .060 in.

Weight: [inv. num. A-236]


Breastplate circa 1490

German. Composed. Upper plate with outward turned triangular rolls at the neck and arms. Plackart formed of one main plate and two smaller plates. Plackart associated. Plackart lames somewhat reworked to fit upper. Some modern internal patches in original plates. One end of the upper breastplate extended to match other side. Modern fauld of four lames. Upper plate fitted with a folding lance rest secured by two bolts from he inside. Lance rest described as modern in sale description. After removal and investigation the details of construction and wear indicate that there is a possibility that the lance rest is actually of the period, possibly even originally part of the same armour as the upper breastplate. It compares very closely to those which survive on the Vienna Gothic armours of the same period. There are also similarities to the lance rest on slightly later Mantova B-8. The bolts are also similar to one of those on the Mantova armour. Two modern buckles at the shoulders. Ex. JW Higgins armoury inv. no. 802. From Dr Bashford Dean, Riverdale, New York, purchased from his estate, 28th September 1929. Exhibited Rockefeller Center, New York, 1 - 30 June 1965 and Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, 9 April - 16 September 1963

Measurements: Lance Rest. The hinge portion is composed of 3 parts. The central part is part of the base, the two outside elements are part of the hook. The outer two knuckles are 1/4 in. thick. The central knuckle is just over 5/16 in. thick. There isn't a clean spot where the hinge actually is a full circle. But if I measure from the top to the flat spot on the bottom, it is just over 7/8 in. tall. Top to bottom 4 1/8 in. from end of point to end of point. The base arches app 5/16 in. above the level of the 2 points at the center to allow it to fit to the curve of the breastplate. From the center of the base to the end of the hook 4 3/16 in. Width of the base from the end of a point to flat spot 1 3/4 in. Holes are app. 1 1/2 in. apart on center. [inv. num. A-237]

Arm harness

Arm harness circa 1560-65

For the left arm. Consisting of an upper cannon 4 plates, two small ones at the top, and the two large plates forming a turning collar with slots on the inner plate and rivets. Small cop with embossed quatrefoil at the point and small wing with rolled edges. Lower canon of 2 plates. Cop secured to the vambrace by one lame above and below. The inside of the elbow covered by thirteen small plates. Brunswick, from the house of Hanover.

The details of the inside elbow lames illustrate how it was constructed. Originally the plates would not be exposed in the way they are in the images since it would have been secured to the upper and lower cannons of the vambrace. Since these leathers are for the most part lost or broken, I have exposed the plates. The central plate is formed like a narrow football. This plate is the inner-most plate. There are 6 curved plates on each side. They are articulated near their ends. The central two are riveted through the same point and the central plate, the rest are each secured to the one before. The total assembly was originally then secured to the upper and lower cannons of the vambrace by three leather straps each. These straps remain on the lower cannon of the vambrace and the rivets that used to secure them to the elbow plates can be seen on the loose plate. One of these still secures the lames to the upper cannon, the other 2 have been lost. The rivets that secured these straps to the upper and lower cannons can be seen in the external pictures of the arm.

This arm was nicely etched. Etching is in bands down the outside, and sides of the arm, around the borders, covering the wing, and on each of the plates inside the elbow. The style and details can be seen in the pictures of details after much of the paint and some rust was removed during restoration. The etching is a combination of foliate scroll work, roped bands, bands, fruit, granular backgrounds and playful faces. The small wing is etched in the center of the wing, in the border band, up onto the cop and the edge is decorated with a narrow rolled and roped border where the roping changes direction on each side and is accented by 3 vertical lines. [inv. num. A-195]

Close Helmet

Close Helmet circa 1550-70

English or Flemish. One piece bowl with high deeply roped comb sweeping from the skull, with an engraved line delineating the transition. There is a somewhat later hole in the comb that was used to secure a funerary crest. This has been mostly repaired by means of a welded patch. Visor with divided eye slot with a roped step below and pierced for ventilation below that. The top and front points of the visor cracked with later internal patch and an old patch near the pivot on the right side. Ventail sweeping out to a central point with rolled and roped upper border interrupted on the right side by a notch for the lifting peg for the visor. Visor, ventail and bevor pivoted on common (replaced) bolts. Visor with a replaced lifting peg. Ventail and bevor secured by sneck hooks engaging pierced pegs on the right side. The hooks formed with integral wider areas to make them easier to engage with the finger. Two gorget lames front and back, rear two replaced. Lower edge of the neck lames formed with an inward turned roped roll. This helmet survived because it was used as a funerary achievement over a tomb in an English church, and it shows the typical damage from extensive oxidation and a repaired hole in the crest which would have secured the funerary spike used to secure a crest. There are signs of the funerary paint that was applied in the form of foliate scrolls and bands in gold on grey. This is most obvious on the bevor which would have been somewhat defended from damage by its position. With the exception of the modern replacements, the parts of this helmet are most likely not associated (skull, visor, ventail, bevor and possibly front gorget lames). This is a nice example of a typical English or Flemish type of helmet from the mid 16th century. A similar helmet without the divided sight may be found on RA II.64 an armour from the Earls of Pembroke at Wilton House. That armour is very similar in many details to A-1 in this collection, with which it is displayed. Similar helmets are illustrated in Cripps-Day 1922. Many funerary helmets have been much more heavily adapted when they were hung over the tombs. This one has its original overall appearance. [inv. num. A-271]

Italian Close Helmet

Italian Close Helmet circa 1580

One-piece skull, visor, upper and lower bevor and 3 neck lames front and back. The skull rising to a tall roped comb (small holes near the top of the comb and one small brazed repair) swept slightly back, bordered by incised lines, with circular holes over the each ear in the form of a circle of 8 holes with a central hole. With a shaped plume-holder incised with chevrons at the base by one rivet on each side. Pointed visor with horizontal vision sight divided centrally, pointed lifting-peg fitting into the upper bevor. The upper bevor fits the visor exactly, the upper edge curved in at the back of the eyeslot. Pierced with circular breaths in the form of a circle of 8 holes with a central hole (matching the holes in the skull, but forming a larger circle). on the right and pivoted at the same points as the chin-piece. Chin-piece and upper bevor secured by hooks which engage in to flattened pegs pierced with a hole. Face hole of the chin-piece bordered by a roped inward-turned roll. Face edge of the skull plain with single engraved line. Lining rivets around the face hole flush on the outside. Three neck-plates at front and rear (lower two rear plates replaced), the bottom ones each with turned and roped border and an additional roped ridge parallel to the border. Similar to the helmet on B-13 from Mantova.

Weight: 6 pounds 11.2 ounces (3,045 g). [inv. num. A-114a]

Close Helmet

Close Helmet circa 1580

Italian. One piece skull with high roped comb, visor with single eye slit, ventail pierced with a circle of breaths on the right, and bevor. Bevor with roped inward turned roll at the edge of the face opening. Visor, ventail and bevor pivoted on common pivots. Bevor and ventail secured by hooks on the right. Visor and ventail decorated with single incised lines. Edge of the visor lightly roped. Lining rivets at the forhead and neck edges of the bowl. Front and back with single neck lames, each with outward turned roped border and an additional parallel raised ridge. Visor with lifting peg at the right. Collar of two plates formed to the body and flaired to fit the neck. Roll at the top and simple raised border around the outer edge. Single encised line in the neck, possibly simulating a separate lame. With lining rivets around the neck and outer edge. Good internal patches in the skull, bevor and ventail. Weight 5 pounds 14 ounces (2665g) [inv. num. A-267-a]


Burgonet Late 16th c.

South German. Black and white. One piece skull with high comb. The comb, a band along the face and an arched band on each side polished, the remainder black and rough from the hammer. Cheek plates hinged at the sides of the skull in the normal fashion, but extended to join under the chin where they overlap and are secured by a pin and hook. Each cheek plate with a raised polished area over the ear pierced with 5 holes connected by engraved lines. The front edge of the cheek plates continues the raised, polished band from the skull. Moveable peak pivoted at the sides of the skull. The bottom of the skull and cheek plates continued by separate plates - two over the neck and one on each cheek plate. These are secured to the skull by internal leathers and to the cheek plates by a sliding rivet at the back and leathers at the front. Edges of the peak and neck plates with a recessed border and inward, roped turns. Lining rivets at the base of skull along the neck continuing across the cheek plates and at the face hole. Most rivets of brass mimicing some (probably) original iron capped rivets. Nice, higher end example. [inv. num. A-274]


Burgonet circa 1580-90

Burgonet. 2 piece skull with smooth surface. Extremely high, rear-swept comb. Pointed brim and tail integral to the bowl, each with rolled, roped and recessed borders. Small, original cheek plates with rolled, roped and recessed borders. The form of the bowl is remeniscent of morions at the time with aggressively pointed brow and neck. Shows signs of pitting and later cleaning. Rivets and decorative washers replaced.

Weight: 3 pounds 5.2 ounces (1510g). Thickness generally .030-040, some areas a little thicker. [inv. num. A-105]


Burgonet circa 1600

South German. Two piece skull with high comb and integral peak and neck. A pair of small cheek plates. The two halves of the skull joined by a roll at the top of the comb and simple overlaps in the peak and neck. Rough from the hammer. Lining rivets at the face and neck lines. The lining rivets with embossed decorated brass washers. This is comparable in construction and style to A-105, but that was originally a much nicer piece. This is the munition version of that. A similar burgonet is illustrated in plate 52 in Musee De L'Armee Paris - Les Armes Et La Vie - Dargaud Editeur 1982. It is described as c. 1550, but that seems early. [inv. num. A-277]


Burgonet circa 1600

South German, probably Augsburg. One piece skull with high comb and integral peak and (atypically) neck flair and a pair of cheek plates. Inward turns at the edge of the peak, neck and lower edge of the cheek plates. The face edge of the cheek plates with a simple raised edge. Each cheek pierced with 5 holes at the center. Retains lining rivets at the face and neck. Rough from the hammer. One large hole in the back of the crest and an H pattern of smaller holes above the neck in the skull. The larger hole likely from how the piece was mounted in a display. Purpose of the smaller holes unknown. Retains blackened finish refreshed with paint. The integral neck flair is very unusual. It is present on some higher end burgonets often ascribed to an Augsburg origin, but generally the shape is more sweeping and less similar to the form of the burgonets with a neck lame. [inv. num. A-273]


Burgonet circa 1600-20

Augsburg. Rough from the hammer and with an overall blackened finish with areas of wear. One piece bowl with high comb with integral peak. Neck of a single lame, cheek plates with bottom flaired to continue the neck lame. Peak with heavily struck Augsburg pine cone mark and less distinct maker's mark (possibly WH). Some remains of lining leathers. Neck lame, cheek plates and hinges appear to be originally part of the same helmet (not associated). [inv. num. A-272a]


Burgonet early 17th c.

Two piece bowl joined at the center over a short, high central comb by a roll. The remainder joined by a flat riveted seam. The brim formed from a separate piece riveted to the inside of the front of the skull. The back of the skull with a neck guard formed of a single plate. Cheek plates with a flair continuing the line of the neck guard. Main edges with with plain inward turns. With old and probably working life lining quilted canvas lining stitched to leather strips at the forehead and neck. Cheek plates with loops at the lower corners used to secure a lace. The right cheek plate stamped with the number 197. Original black finish which has been refreshed with paint. Right cheek plate appears to have been reattached. Cheek plates secured at the chin in a common way - with a loop at the lower corner of each through which a thong is tied. [inv. num. A-257]


Breastplate circa 1550-80

German. Black and white with rough from the hammer surface with raised polished bands. The neck with a tapered inward turned roped roll. The arms fitted with gussets with inward turned tapered rolls. Retains fauld of 3 plates. Reblackened with paint to simulate the original appearance. Polished bands at the center, middle of each side and sides of the breastplate which continue on the fauld. The bands on the breastplate are very roughly formed on the outside, tooling appearing to be made by very small, narrow pien. The bands in the fauld more cleanly made, likely because raising bands on the thinner material is easier. small patch in the flair fr the fauld. Retains rivets for leathers in the fauld. These are located int the raised bands in the middle of each side of the fauld. Area in the upper half of the inside of the breastplate cleaned.

Measurements: 11 1/4 in wide at the waist, 14 in. wide under the arms, app. 10 1/4 in. wide at the top of the breastplate, 12 1/2 in. tall breastplate at the center to the waist, 17 1/4 in. tall overall including the fauld. Breastplate varies between .040 and .070, mostly .060-070 in. thick. Fauld thinner - mostly .030-.050. This breastplate is smaller and thinner than most. [inv. num. A-262]


Breastplate circa 1550-80

German. Black and white. Rolled neck, gussets at the arms, fauld of two lames. Drawn out to a blunt point at the center and with a central crease. Tapered, roped roll at the neck with two lines at the center and roping sloping in opposite directions on each side. Gussets with large, tapered rolls coming to a slight point at the center and roping with a pair of lines at the center and opposite sloped roping at the top and bottom. Three raised bands, one at the center and an arched one on each side. The top with a recessed border that comes to a shallow point at the center. Fauld of two lames continuing the raised bands from the breast and with two additional bands at the ends which would have continued those on the tassets. Center of the second lame with a shallow arch with an inward turned roped border. Buckles at the top of the gussets. Background rough from the hammer with a black finish refreshed with paint. The decoration cleaner and nicer than that on several others from the same source. Breast, one gusset and both fauld lames with internal assembly marks formed of 3 punch marks. [inv. num. A-279]

Waistcoat Cuirass

Waistcoat Cuirass circa 1580

Italian. Full peasscod shape mimicing the doublet of the time. Formed in three pieces, one narrow one down the center of the back and two sides which join at the center of the front. The sections are secured by a pair of interior inset hinges in the lower portion of the back. Arm holes with outward turned roped rolls bordered by an engraved line. Neck and waist edges with inward turned finely roped rolls and bordered by single incised lines. The front is decorated with a series of false buttons formed of iron rivets with brass caps, a few of which have lost their caps. The cuirass is secured closed by means of two threaded studs on the interior plate that engage holes on the outer plate. Currently one of these holes is filled with a modern brass bolt. The top edge is formed into a low straight collar, the bottom edge is flared out below the waist. Shot proof thickness with what appears to be a proof mark on the left side. A nice example of a rare type of body armour. Several defenses of this type (etched) survive in the Wallace collection. There are a few plain ones in the Graz arsenal. These are normally thought of as light civilian armours or decorative, but there are several like this one that are definitely designed for protection against weapons used in warfare.

Measurements: Width under the arms 14 in. width at the waist 10.25 in. height at the back from the waist to the top of the collar 16.25 in. Neck hole 6 in. wide and 6.25 front to back. Thickness varies significantly and apparently intentionally. Selected locations on the center back plate are app. .10 in. The shoulders vary between .16 in. and .18 in. Thick spots in the front are .30 in.

Weight: 26 pounds 11.2 ounces (12.114 kg).

Provenance: Peter Finer. Listed in the 1996 catalogue. Previously from the Christies sale Weds 22 July 1992 lot 105 where it is compared to the Cologne-made waistcoat cuirass in the Kienbusch Collection (no. 29) [inv. num. A-240]


Breastplate circa 1610-20

Black. Heavy shot proof. with good full-form pinched peascod. Full inward turn at the neck. Simple flares at the arms and flared at the waist. There are signs of delamination on the inside. This breastplate seems to be formed of 2 layers of iron/steel. See ""Duplex armour: an urecognized mode of construction"" by de Reuck et. al. in Arms and Armour: Journal of the Royal Armouries Vol. 2 Number 1, 2005. Formerly in the Granscay collection (sold as part of lot 101, Sotheby's European Works of Art, Arms and Armour, Furniture and Tapestries New York - Jan 13 and 15, 1992 - the second item in the lot).

Height 14 in. from the base to center of the neck hole. Width 11 in. at the waist and 13 in. under the arm holes.

Thickest part is at the base near the waist just outside the center on each side where it reaches .240 in. There are very few hammer marks in these thick areas. Generally thins to .170 in. near the edge and .110 - .140 in. at the upper corners and around the arm holes. Mostly .200 to .220 in. in the upper center. Peascod thins at the center (likely from forming the very aggresive crease) to app. .170 in. [inv. num. A-17]

German/Austrian (possibly Gratz) Breastplate

German/Austrian (possibly Gratz) Breastplate circa 1590

Including 2 buckles at shoulders. Rolled edges at arm holes and neck, full flare at waist - used without any fauld lames. Simple peascod shape. This breastplate is relatively light and most likely sword proof and not shot proof. This item is very similar to large numbers of breastplates in the Arsenal in Graz. Its original blackened finish has been removed by cleaning with acid. Originally it would have been used with a pair of tassets suspended directly from the wide flare at the waist of the breastplate - taking the place of the fauld. The holes for the tasset straps are evident. Each tasset would have been suspended by 3 straps and buckles - the ones nearest the edge and center of the breastplate were attached by 2 rivets, the central one with a single rivet. Weight 3.5 lbs.

rough inner and outer surfaces, but roughly .050-.060 inch thick overall. [inv. num. A-15]


Breastplate circa 1600

Breastplate. Shot-proof breast made for use without fauld or tassets. Good, full peascod form. Heavy weight. Simple outward rolls a the neck and arms with some signs of roping. The material is thick enough that a simple narrow outward fold has been shaped to look like the more usual roll. Scalloped waist flare. Pairs of incised lines. Weight 15.5 lbs.

Height 15 1/2 in. from base to center of neck hole. 12 in. wide at the waist, 14 3/8 in. wide under the arm holes.

Thickness. Near the center, app. 1 in. from the crease the thickest point of the breastplate is .285 in. Generally the center is .220 - .260 in. Thins to .185 at the top of the shoulder extensions. Thins at the peascod to .165-.195 in. Central band forming the crease thins aggresively to .160-.195 in. Tapers to .104-.138 at the side under the arm holes.

Weight: 14 pounds 7.6 ounces (6,656 g). [inv. num. A-79]

Half Suit

Half Suit circa 1600-20

Augsburg. Well composed, quite possibly mostly from parts from a single series of similar munition armours in an arsenal. Consisting of a burgonet, breast, back, tassets, munions and a pair of elbow gauntlets. Rough from the hammer and with an overall blackened finish with areas of wear. Helmet with one piece bowl with high comb with integral peak. Neck of a single lame, cheek plates with bottom flaired to continue the neck lame. Peak with heavily struck Augsburg pine cone mark and less distinct maker's mark (possibly WH). Some remains of lining leathers. Neck lame, cheek plates and hinges appear to be originally part of the same helmet (not associated). Breastplate with central crease with a small, but definite peascod at the waist. Inward turned rolls at the arm and neck holes. Single fauld lame secured to a narrow flair at the bottom of the breast by three rivets and formed with a shallow arched cut out at the center. The edge of the arch with an inward turned roll, nicely terminated to align with the tassets. Marked near the neck with Augsburg pine cone mark and maker's mark (a small, crisp HR inside a recessed rectangle) and on the right side witih a 9. The breast also has punched marks on the outside that indicate the location of the waist and the center and approximate loacations of the arm holes and three notches on the edge of the left side of the inside of the waist flair and matching notches on the right side of the fauld lame. Signs of delamination in various parts of the breastplate. One piece backplate with a tall separate waist lame with integral flair forming a simple culet. Backplate with inward turned plain rolls at the arm holes and an inward turn (over wire) at the neck that rises to a point in the center. Culet with plain inward turn at the bottom rising to a shallow point at the center and with small points at the sides. Inward turned rolls at the top and arm holes. Marked with Augsburg pine cone mark and maker's mark (a somewhat less distinct BN inside a possibly round recessed area) at the neck. No signs of internal construction markings, but with some external punch marks indicating the waist line and the center of the bottom edge of the main back plate. The back appears to have come from a somewhat taller armour than the breast. Tassets of 4 lames secured to the breast by three buckles each. The bottom edges of the tassets and the front edge of the upper plate each with plain inward turns. Each plate centrally creased and the top edges beveled. Secured by sliding rivets at the outside and leathers at the center and inside. The tassets match the fauld well enough that they may be original to the breast plate. The buckles are attached to the tassets by buckle plates with simple punched decoration. The tassets and cullet show no signs of having buckles or straps moved, but they have been reattached with later rivets. Munions of one plate front and back the upper edge rolled at the neck. Shoulders protected by five lames formed to the shoulder and arm and the last extending at the back to form to the elbow and with an inward turned rolled edge. The right shoulder associated. The main front plate coming to a deep point and with an aggressive central crease. One set of shoulder plates creased at the center, the other plain. The central front plate chiseled with the large inventory number 37. Apparently less closely associated gauntlets. Gauntlets with long, tapered cuffs extending to provide additional coverage at the elbow. The cuffs formed of an outer and separate inner plate. The back of hand covered by five metacarpal plates secured to the cuff by a wrist lame. Knuckle plates formed with a transverse rib and shaped to the fingers. Finger plates secured to leathers. Base of thumb covered by large plates secured to the last metacarpal plate by a leather hinge, extended over the thumb with scales. Some terminal finger lames decorated with a stylized finger nail. The cuffs bordered by brass capped lining rivets retaining portions of what appears to an original strap that secured the gloves (showing signs of the original stitch lines). Back of hands and fingers not as nice as the cuffs. They may have been added. Armour overall releathered long enough ago that the leathers are breaking. This could easily be composed from pieces from a series an arsenal (probably with the exception of the gauntlets), the main parts are all consistent with the same date and style. Augsburg marked pieces are rarer than Nuremberg ones, and munition pieces with additional marks identifying the maker are even rarer. This is a very nice example of a late 16th to early 17th century munition armour. No signs of replacement or restoration in the burgonet, munions, breast, back and tassets other than leathers and some rivets and a few buckles. [inv. num. A-272]


Suit circa 1580

Italian. Consisting of a close helmet, gorget, integral pauldrons and arm harness, gauntlets, breastplate, backplate tassets, and legharness. Close helmet with one piece skull with high roped comb, visor with single eye slit, ventail pierced with a circle of breaths on the right, and bevor. Bevor with roped inward turned roll at the edge of the face opening. Visor, ventail and bevor pivoted on common pivots. Bevor and ventail secured by hooks on the right. Visor and ventail decorated with single incised lines. Edge of the visor lightly roped. Lining rivets at the forhead and neck edges of the bowl. Front and back with single neck lames, each with outward turned roped border and an additional parallel raised ridge. Visor with lifting peg at the right. Collar of two plates formed to the body and flaired to fit the neck. Roll at the top and simple raised border around the outer edge. Single encised line in the neck, possibly simulating a separate lame. With lining rivets around the neck and outer edge. Good internal patches in the skull, bevor and ventail. Gorget of two plates - one front and one back - with integral collar. Roll at the neck and braised ridge around the outer edge. Lining rivets at the neck and outer edge. Plates secured by a pivot rivet at the left side and keyhole and peg at the right. Rectangular loops on each side of the neck for the straps that secure the pauldrons. One piece breastplate of peascod form with integral rolls at the neck and arms. Flaired at the waist to carry a (later) fauld of two lames. Center of the breast at the neck stamped with a Z I and with two small B stamps to the right. Backplate formed to the back with central engraved line, inward turned rolls at the neck and arms and flaired at the waist with an inward turned roll. Marked with 153 at the neck and G and P on the left and right side indicating that it was used for the Gioco del Ponte. Breast and back connected by straps at the shoulders of the breastplate connected to buckles at the top of the backplate and waist straps secured to the backplate that buckle over the waist of the breastplate. Arms with integral pauldrons. Pauldrons formed of three larger plates (main central plate with two smaller ones above) and four smaller lames covering the upper arm. Main plates bordered by a recessed border and inward turned, roped rolls. Arms consisting of upper cannon of the vambrace with integral turning collar, vambrace of two plates secured by hinges on the inside and pin on the outside and a couter of five lames, the central one formed to the elbow and with integral bracelet wing. Main borders with recessed and inward turned roped rolls. Other edges with double incised lines. Gauntlets of mitten form. Tassets of ten plates with rolled and roped borders. Each suspended from the fauld by three straps and buckles. On and older stand with base. As purchased, badly displayed with collar, arms and gauntlets on the wrong side. Cuirass collapsed below appropriate position, overall lightly rusted and with discolored varnish.

From the collection of the Archduke Eugen of Augsburg. According to the Abels tag, sold at the sale of items from the armoury 1927 in NY. From there Through Robert Abels a dealer in arms and armour to Erwin P. Kantor 7/27/1967 to his heirs. Legs described as restoration in the sale from Abels. Further investigation indicates the gauntlets, right tasset and some upper lames of left tasset are also restorations. Inspection of the Eugen catalogue from 1927 does not seem to contain a similar armour, though the style of restored legs are consistent with other items in the sale. Helmet, breast, back, collar and arms all original late 16th c. pieces. [inv. num. A-267]