Allen Antiques

Half suit - A-307 Half suit - A-307-new-helmet-straight Half suit - A-307-new-helmet-sideways

Half suit 1540-early 17th c.

Composed half harness using pieces of German manufacture. Provides a good illustration of a half armour from mid 16th c. All parts original, but dating from 1540-early 17th c. Comprising a gorget with integral shoulder plates for infantry use from the early 17th c. that is similar to munions from earlier, breastplate with fauld, burgonet with faceted skull and tassets. The burgonet has changed since the suit was composed. Images that show triangular cheek plates show A-115, others show A-342.

Burgonet: Atypical early form - the bowl of rounded form with four creases and coming to a small bent point at the top center. The bowl covering the top, front and back of the head and flared at the back for a single neck lame. Sides of the face covered by cheek plates (the right a good replacement) and the front with a pivoted fall which comes to a point at the center. Edges of the fall, cheek plates and tail lame with inward turned, roped borders. The similar helmets illustrated in volume II of the KHM catalogue date the pieces with similar skulls to 1535. This piece is very closely related in shape and quality of construction to parts that survive from a large number of half armours that were bought by Vienna from Nuremberg in the 1540's. Marked on the outside of the fall with a Nuremberg shield mark (partially stamped) and on the inside of the fall with what appears to be an N in a circle (again, partial).

From what can be seen, it appears that the helmets illustrated in Das Wiener Burgerliche Zeughaus - 1977 on plates 32 and 33 are similar. There are many similarities to the helmet on Wallace A40 (it has a higher point, and black and white decoration, but the bowl shape, fall, face line, form of the cheeks and even the pair of additional holes over the cheek plates are similar).

Height: 9 1/2"" tall. Weight 2 pounds 10 ounces (1200g).

Thickness: Skull mostly .05-.06, but with thin spots at .03 and thick spots up to .07. Brim mostly .04-.05 thinning at the right side toward the back down to .025 and some thicker spots up to .065. Cheek plate mostly .035-.055.

Munions: two piece collar with five piece shoulders. Collar comprising main plate front and rear raised to form an integral neck protection with inward turned plain roll, pointed front-plate hinged on the left and retained by a stud and a keyhole slot on the right, and with spaudlers of five downward-lapping lames, the bottom lames each with turned and roped border. The shoulders are well shaped to the body, broadening out at the top 2 lames. As is typical, the top lame is relatively narrow and flat, the next one larger and shaped to the point of the shoulder, the next two are nearly flat and the last plate is cusped in to fit to the arm. Appears to have originally had a bright polished surface. Signs of the rough grind or file work remain on many plates. There are a number of similar pieces that have come out of the Solothurn arsenal that have survived in very good condition. The grind marks on this piece may show how the piece was originally finished. Shoulder plates secured by sliding rivets at the rear and leathers at the center and front. Shoulders attached to the gorget with a short leather strap at the back and extensions of the central and front leathers. The right side can be removed from the gorget to allow the piece to be put on. A slot in the end of the leather engages a rivet head on the inside of the gorget. Leathers and buckles replaced. Some signs of remnants of older coatings that helped to maintain the material. All parts fit well and are likely original to each other even though the rolls at the base of the shoulders are roped and the neck roll is plain.

Breastplate: German. White. With a central crease and drawn out to a point below the center. The neck with a tapered inward turned roped roll. The arms fitted with gussets with inward turned tapered rolls. All rolls with matching roped decoration. Retains fauld of 2 plates which would extend out in the center over the crotch, forming a simplified version of the faulds where the center of the bottom lame is pushed out over the cod piece. Lower plate with 2 (probably later, but possibly working life) leather straps which may be buff for the suspension of tassets. Gussets with buckles for the shoulder straps. Interior of both fauld lames and left gusset marked with a single punch mark that appears to be the assembly mark.

South-German Tassets: For a half armour. Seven lames, the upper four detachable. Creased center line. Hammered floral decoration on the terminal lame and leaf form decoration on the top lame. The bottom edge of the bottom lame of each segment with full rolls with fine roped decoration. the rolls on the terminal lame tapered and with a central bump. Lateral double decorative lines running up the sides. Decorative file work at the centers of the tops of the lames. Very nice, full form. Old leathers (one detatched from one plate). Old rivets and matching buckles (some tongues defective). The upper and lower sections secured by a keyhole slot and peg at the outside and a much smaller keyhole slot engaging a turning pin at the inside.

Composed a breastplate - item number A-263, munions - item number A-292, tassets - item number A-62 and a burgonet - item number A-342 (formerly item number A-115).


If you have any questions, please send them to Wade Allen

This site last updated Wed Nov 09 11:04:18 EST 2022