Waistcoat Cuirass 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)
If you have any questions, please send them to Wade Allen
This site last updated Wed Jun 30 13:30:53 EDT 2021