Allen Antiques

Half suit - A-358-with-larger-burgonet-front Half suit - A-358-with-larger-burgonet-left-angle Half suit - A-358-with-larger-burgonet-right-angle Half suit - A-358-with-larger-burgonet-right-rear Half suit - A-358-with-larger-burgonet-left-rear Half suit - A-358

Half suit 1580-1610

German. Rough from the hammer and blackened. Consisting of a burgonet item number A-273 or item number A-285, breast item number A-358a, back item number A-358b, tassets item number A-358d and gorget item number A-358c. Munition and generally well matched.

Burgonet: South German, probably Augsburg. One piece skull with high comb and integral peak and (atypically) neck flare 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 flare 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.

Breastplate: Central crease ending in a well formed peascod point at the center of the waist. Inward turned and tapered file roped border at the neck with plain inward turned rolls at the armholes. Flared at the waist to carry tassets. Buckles at the shoulders to secure it to the backplate and three straps on each side of the waist flare to carry the tassets. Tasset straps secured with iron rivets and copper alloy rosette washers. Surface rough from the hammer with (likely) later blackened finish. The finish isn't just modern paint. It is at places brown and semi-transparent. This may be an older linseed oil based finish. The buckles and straps are well done, but they appear to be modern. Interior marked with 'IX' matching the mark on the backplate.

Thickness generally .0850.090 inch over much of the surface. Thins at the edges under the arms to .065 inch and to .075 near the neck where it would overlap a gorget. Thickness is also generally thinner at the peascod, but it is also more variable. Weight 5 pounds 8 ounces (2495g).

Backplate: Formed to the shoulder blades. Flared at the waist. Inward turned rolled borders at the neck, base of the waist flare and armholes. The neck and waist rolls are lightly roped matching the breastplate. Straps at the shoulders to secure it to the breastplate. Waist belt secured to the sides of the backplate, the left side carrying a buckle. Surface rough from the hammer with (likely) later blackened finish. Size, shape and finish match the breastplate. Straps later. Shoulder straps matching those on the breastplate. Top of the backplate with a pair of crude holes. These seem to have been used to hang the armor for storage (working life or later). The waist belt seems to be an even later replacement than the other leathers.

Thickness: Generallly .050-.060 inch. Weight 4 pounds (1830g).

Tassets: Not quite a pair. Each formed of five plates. The top plate with three buckles to attach the tassets to the breastplate. The bottom plates with an inward turned roll at the bottom edge. The medial edge with simple hollow ridge simulating a roll - this allows the plates to move on each other. Plates secured by two lines of rivets and one central leather (broken). The right has an extra rivet in the base plate under the front line of rivets and the rear is secured to the next plate by a sliding rivet. The roll at the bottom of the tassets roped matching the breast and back. There are light lines engraved in the plates - pairs paralleling the medial and lateral edges, three at the center and another pair paralleling the bottom edge.

Thickness - Left - top plate .050-.060 inch, second plate .040-.060 inch, third and fourth plates generally .030-.040 inch, terminal plate .049-.080 generally .065-.070 in. Weight: Left 1 pound 7 ounces (655g) right 1 pound 6.2 ounces (630g).

Gorget: Formed of one plate front and back each flared at top to form integral protection for the neck. Plates secured on the left by a rotating rivet and on the right with a keyhole in the front plate engaging a button peg on the rear plate. Upper edge of the neck and lower edge with simple full inward turned rolled border. The neck has a line of holes which would have originally contained rivets to secure a lining leather (four remain in the rear, three in the front). There are buckles secured to the rear plate to connect pauldrons. The surface is rough, showing signs of extensive oxidation. There are two cracks in the edge of the rear plate. The front of the front plate (longer than typical and extended to cover more of the chest) and the use of a full roll indicate that this was likely originally designed to be used without a breast and back. For other examples of this style of gorget see item number A-261, item number A-289 and item number A-290.

Thickness: .038-.058 inch. Weight: 1 pound 15 ounces (880g).

The wooden stand illustrated in the display was built from Sean Powell's plans for the stands made for the Worcester Art Museum. The pictures on the stand include item number A-285 because it fits the head of the stand better, so it was used in photographs of this and item number A-348.


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

This site last updated Sat Apr 27 13:09:09 EDT 2024