Study session - Feb. 2010


German Burgonet

German Burgonet 16th century

One piece polished skull. Nuremberg guild mark. This helmet retains its original plume holder. Provenance: Bischoff Collection, Vienna. [inv. num. A-5]


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. [inv. num. A-105]

German Morion

German Morion circa 1600

Black and white. Typical of the Munich town guard. 2 piece bowl with a high comb. Brim with prominent upturned points at the front and back. Each side embossed with a large fleur-de-lys. Provenance: Ackermann Collection, Luzerne. [inv. num. A-6]

German Morion

German Morion circa 1600

Morion. One piece bowl. High, roped comb. Brim with recessed border and rolled and roped edge. Complete with iron lining rivets (still holding internal leather strip) and plume holder. Clear (partial) Nuremberg mark on brim. From the collection of Ernst Holzscheiter. No signs of modern cleaning or restoration. A very good, untouched helmet with good form. [inv. num. A-72]

Italian or Flemish Breastplate

Italian or Flemish Breastplate circa 1500

Formed of a single piece with a medial crease, flared bottom edge and large triangular rolls at the arms and neck. The roll at the arm with engraved/filed decoration in the form of lines. There are a set of holes on the right side for the attachment of the pins for a lance rest. This is a fine example of a rare type of breastplate made at the turn of the 16th century. Examples like it may be found in the Waffensammlung Vienna, Metropolitan Museum NY, etc. For a very similar example see Kienbusch Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art #1977-167-132 formerly in the Dean collection.

Size measurements: Width of neck hole - 8 1/2 in. Height of arm hole - 9 in. Arm hole to waist- 4 1/2 in. Center from top of roll to waist - 12 3/4 in. Waist flare - 3/4 in.

The metal varies in thickness. Within an inch it can vary about .01 inch. All measurements in inches. Thickness measurements:Sides - .028-.052 - mostly in the .030-.040 range. Upper area between arm and neck (right side) - .035-.050.Mostly around .040. Same thing (left side) - .059 - .075 (thicker than the other side). At the lance rest holes - .040 - .052. At the top crease area - .070 - .080 (mostly .080). At the center near crease - .080 - .11. Center near the waist - mostly .040 - .050. Height of upper roll at the center - .66. Max height of right arm roll - .84. Max height of left arm roll - .71. [inv. num. A-66]

Lower-German Breastplate

Lower-German Breastplate circa 1550-1560

Heavy hammered polished iron breast plate with strong projection in the medial ridge and triple extruded curved V-lines under a centrally subdivided roped flange. The left side etched (faded) with a crucifix and kneeling knight. Inset gussets with high roped turnovers. Riveted waist lame. The arm holes are bordered by a narrow recessed band. The bottom edge heavily beveled with a decorative notch at the center. The inside with distinct tool marks, the iron slightly raised in places, the double holes for the lance rest filled in the distant past. Rivets replaced.

Height 12 1/2 in. (32 cm). 11 1/2 in. wide at the waist, 15 1/2 in. wide under the arm holes. 11 1/2 in. wide at the top with the gussets fully extended.

Thickness on a line from the center point to the central point of the left arm roll .156 in. up to .210 app. 1 1/2 in. from the center to .170 at the corner. Along a line 1 in. up from the bottom edge from the center to the outside .160 in. at the center thinning down to .10 at the rivet securing the waist lame down to .075 near the edge. Upper half more consistent ranging somewhat randomly between .170 to .210 with a few spots reaching .230. Up at the top corner of the arm hole thining down to .120 in. Waist lame in the upper facet .132 in. near the center tapering to .055 in. at the edge "Flair" less even and generally thinner varying between .110 .045, mostly between .070 and .090 in. Overall pattern .20 thick near the center, tapering to .070 at the sides and .150 at the top. [inv. num. A-61]

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]

German Black and White Cuirass

German Black and White Cuirass circa 1580-90

Comprising a heavy peascod breastplate with roped flanges at the neck and sliding gussets, the lower edge flanged for a skirt of 2 plates, the bottom one arched, turned and roped at the center, and matching three part backplate with separate riveted culet, the edges turned and roped, the surfaces throughout divided by bright bands and borders into blackened panels, rough from the hammer, and struck near the neck on both breast and back with the Nuremburg mark and a maker"s mark of a pair of shears in an inverted shield. The waist belt is a modern replacement. The shoulder straps are also replacements, though one is lacking. 5 of the 6 straps for the suspension of tassets remain and they are secured by 8 lobed roset washers. The fauld lames are slightly deformed. The right gusset, breastplate and both fauld lames are marked with a chiseled "X" assembly marks - the left gusset is different - possibly due to its having been for the left (it fits and matches the right in every respect). Breast mostly .090 inch thick tapering at the sides to app. .070. [inv. num. A-19]

Black and white half suit

Black and white half suit circa 1550-1600

composed of a morion formed from 2 pieces, breast with prominent central point, sliding gussets and fauld of 2 lames, munions formed of one large plate front and back with integral shoulders and elbow gauntlets. Breast, main gorget plates, terminal shoulder plates and gauntlet cuffs decorated with arched raised "white" bands instead of the more usual bands parallel to the edge. Gorget neck lames lacking. [inv. num. A-156]

German Gorget

German Gorget circa 1550

Formed of 3 plates front and back with additional plates covering the points of the shoulders. Main front plate with central crease. Main rear plate formed to the shape of the neck and shoulders. Neck tof two lames front and back. Upper plates with srong inward-turned roped rolls. Neck lames creased at the center front following the crease in the main plate. Neck lames attached by 3 leathers front and back, each secured by 2 rivets in each plate. Upper plate secured by an integral hinge at the left and a pin at the right. Main plates secured by a pin at the left and a pin engaging in a keyhole slot at the right. Attached shoulder protection of two plates each. One a small articulating plate, the other shaped to cover the point of the shoulder. Edge rolled and roped. Secured with sliding rivets at the back and leathers at the center and front edge. The leather on the right can be detached from the main plate to allow the gorget to be opened. Two hinged mounts for the suspension of the pauldrons, each carrying a vertical pin with a spring-loaded catch. One associated. Older leathers. A pair of holes at the base of the center of the rear main plate. Top of neck slightly out of round. App 6 1/2 inches across on the inside (app. 1/4"" longer front to back than side to side). The main plates are 10 1/4 inches wide at the front, 11 1/2 inches wide at the join between the front and back plates and 13 1/4 inches wide at the back. [inv. num. A-25]

Italian Gorget

Italian Gorget circa 1580

Gorget of two main plates with single neck-lames at the front and rear. The outer edges of the main plates are bordered by a half roll and recessed border, the laf roll roped. The neck edge of the main plates with matching roped half-rolls. The neck plates with roped full rolls. The neck plates are secured by an internal hinge at the left and a pin in the rear plate engaging a hole in the front plate on the right. The main plates are secured by a turning hook on the right which engages in a keyhole slot. Very similar to that on Corselet II.47 in the Royal Armouries (illustrated on plate LIX in European Armour in the Tower of London). [inv. num. A-114c]


Gauntlets late 15th cent.

Gauntlets. Nicely formed "gothic" gauntlets typical of the late 15th century. Fluted, engraved and pierced overall. Formed of a large metacarpal plate joined to a wrist lame by another, smaller lame. The cuff is also attached to the wrist lame. These plates are attached with sliding rivets allowing the wrist to flex in all directions. The knuckle plate is formed into a blunt point over each knuckle. The fingers are covered by 4 articulated plates fluted over each of the fingers. These gauntlets have been cleaned and re-assembled, but they are basically a complete pair of gauntlets. The thumbs have been restored and the left cuff is associated. [inv. num. A-98]

German Gauntlet (part)

German Gauntlet (part) circa 1490-1500

Finger, knuckle and 1 1/2 metacarpal plates of a german gothic mitten gauntlet. The finger lames are fluted so simulate fingers, the knuckle plate with rounded and creased knuckles. The first metacarpal plate is fluted with v-shaped puckers to accomadate the flutes in the knuckle and finger lames. There is half of the hinge used to attach the thumb plate, and half of the second metacarpal plate remaining. Each of the articulations is formed with sliding rivets. 2 rivets have been lost, the parts held together by bolts. Formerly in the collection of Leonard Heinrich - armourer to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. [inv. num. A-47]

2 Gauntlets

2 Gauntlets circa 1530-40

2 Gauntlets. Almost forming a pair. Both mid 16th century mitten gauntlets with 2 piece cuffs opening on a hinge and secured by a pin. The metacarpals formed of several small plates and one larger plate. The knuckle bows formed with a raised, roped ridge. Fingers covered by articulated plates, the terminal plates with roped and recessed borders. Thumbs protected by a large plate covering the base of the thumb secured to metacarpal by a hinge, with smaller plates secured to leather covering the remainder of the thumbs. Both terminal thumb plates with simulated finger nails. The Fitzwilliam collection in Cambridge contains a very similar pair of gauntlets (no. HEN.M.141-1933. [inv. num. A-104]

German Gauntlets

German Gauntlets 2nd half 16th century

Pair of gauntlets of steel painted black, each with pointed flared boxed cuff made in two-pieces with bright turned and roped borders along the outside followed by a double flute with central cusp on the inside, and each struck with a Nuremberg mark and indistinct maker"s mark, "H" in a shield, roped boss over the ulna, five metacarpal plates above three finger-plates below, each of the latter with bright embossed and roped knuckle-plate and all articulated on rivets, the lower plates each with border en suite with the cuff, one with keyhole piercing engaging with a locking-stud on the inner wrist-plate, separate hinged thumb-defences of four plates each, and each incised with roman numeral assembly marks on the inside from "I" on the cuff to "XII" on the terminal plate. 36 cm. and 38 cm. long. [inv. num. A-99]

German Knee with lames and terminal plate

German Knee with lames and terminal plate circa 1620

For attachment to lamed legs. Seven total plates. Cop with central raised ridge, all plates with chiseled line borders, rolled edges and rivet decoration. From the Boston Museum of Fine Art - including 1929 acquisition number - 1099.29 Old de-lamination in some plates, old patch to lower plate. Possibly originally blackened. [inv. num. A-22]


Knee circa 1620

from a 3/4 armour comprising the knee cop, large lower lame designed for use without a greave, 2 upper lames and a third detachable lame that originally formed the lower lame of the tasset. Embossed with a flower at the center of the knee and a raised, roped ridge from the flower to the center of the wing. Main outer edges with inward-turned rolled and roped borders. Wing with a recessed border. Rivets appear to be working life rivets. Knee plates secured to the tasset plate by a keyhole engaging a rivet on the outside and a keyhole with a turning hook on the inside. Main surface rough from the hammer. Flower polished. Thickness varies between app. .035 in. and .050 .in - mostly app. .040 in. [inv. num. A-155]

Arm harness

Arm harness circa 1540-60

Formed of an upper and lower vambrace articulated by means of one lame below and one lame above to the bracelet cop. The upper vambrace includes a turning collar which was originally directly attached by a sliding rivet at the back and two leathers to the pauldron. Rolled and roped borders at the wrist and on the edge of the wing. Simple outward rolls at the inner edge of the upper and lower vambraces (at the elbow). Elbow of very pointed form with full bracelet wing. Horizontal raised and roped ridge on the outside from the point of the elbow to the center of the wing. Iron rivets with brass caps articulating the plates and attaching the hinge for the lower vambrace.

Turning collar 4 3/4" in diameter. Lower vambrace 9 3/8" long at the longest point.

Upper cannon .030-.050" thick, lower cannon more even .030-.040" thick. [inv. num. A-27]

German Black and White Elbow

German Black and White Elbow mid 16th cent.

Elbow cop. Floating (originally held to the arm with a strap and buckle around the elbow and a pin suspending if from the upper arm). Decorated with raised foliage against a rough background (likely originally blackened). Raised areas with simple etched decoration. Recessed border with high quality etched decoration of foliage with "dot" background. This elbow was claimed to have been formerly in the collection of Stephen Granscay. [inv. num. A-96]

Elbow (couter)

Elbow (couter) circa 1500

Floating form designed for use with a central peg securing it to a strap connecting the upper and lower vambrace. Clam shell form with one flute above and below the center and raised border over most of the outer edge. Ex. col. Dr. John Waldman. [inv. num. A-148]

Italian or possibly south german elbows

Italian or possibly south german elbows circa 1510

With associated arm pieces. Both for the left arm. Each with gutter shaped upper cannon (one restored), boldly formed couter with flanged upper and lower edges. One incised with a line. Tapering lower cannon cut with a long slot to accomadate the hand defences. Italian, or possibly south German. From the collections of the Counts Schenk von Stauffenberg. Similar ones are preserved in Madonna Delle Grazie - Mantova, and the Tower (from Rhodes)

Maximum width of the wing 8 in. 5 5/8 in. at the back edge. From center of elbow crease to point of cop 7 1/4 in.

Measurements of the slightly larger copy with beveled edge - thickness of the wing area .022-.030 in. back of the cop mostly .030, some areas down to .025, others up to .052 in. front of cop mostly .040-.050 in. [inv. num. A-63]

Elbow cop

Elbow cop circa 1510-30

Decorated with flutes and recessed bands. A "floating" cop used with separate upper and lower cannons of the vambrace. The mate is a very well made modern copy (to form a pair). The mate was made in the armouries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art [inv. num. A-53]

German floating Elbow

German floating Elbow circa 1520

Simple "Maximilian" form. Rounded flutes accented by engraved lines. 2 nearly identical elbows are in the Fitzwilliam collection (no.s HEN.M.135A-1933 and HEN.M.135B-1933). From the R.T. Gwynn collection. [inv. num. A-58]


Arms circa 1520

German. Spaulders of 5 plates, main plate overlapping one upper and 3 lower plates. Arms with an open upper and closed lower vambraces with couter articulated by one lame above and below. Couters with large wings with rolled and roped borders, recessed band and central spray of closely-set flutes. Center of cop embossed with a flower. [inv. num. A-128]


Spaulder circa 1530

Possibly Landshut. Formed of 6 plates, the 2nd overlapping the first and the lower plates. Fluted overall in 4 sets of 3 flutes each. Bands separated by flat areas etched with running foliage and a bird a female figure. The top plate with a plain turn and recessed border which continue onto the to of the second plate. The next 3 plates with plain ends. The final plate with a heavily roped inward-turned roll on the bottom edge and a pair of horizontal flutes. All flutes accented with parallel engraved lines, one on each side of the flute. Retaining its orginal buckle at the bottom front corner of nice form. Ex. Coll. Dr. John Waldman. [inv. num. A-147]

Mail shirt

Mail shirt 16th

Mail Shirt hip length with short sleeves and collar. Open at the center of the neck. Rings of flattened form, entirely riveted. Wedge rivets. Collar of slightly heavier rings somewhat more crudely made. The rivet heads on the collar on the opposite side. This indicates the collar was added, almost certainly during the working life of the shirt. [inv. num. M-14]

Mail Sleeve

Mail Sleeve 16th century

Formed of small rings with an inside diameter slightly over 5/32 inch. round section wire was used to make these rings. The rings in the body section are thicker than the rings at the end of the sleeves. In the body the wire is app. .038 in in diameter, the end of the sleeve is .029. The outside diameter of the rings is app. .240 in. With area covering the shoulder and armpit, full sleeve with bend at the elbow and tapering to the form of the arm. Iron rings of round cross section all riveted. The flattened area at the rivet is slightly bevelled on both sides forming a cross section that is roughly a diamond shape. Wedge rivets flush on the inside and forming a shallow point on the outside. Very small rings. Decorative border of copper alloy (brass) rings at the edge of the gusset and at the wrist. Border of alternating solid and riveted rings of 4 rows of solid and 3 rows of riveted rings. Small and medium losses, but overall form remains. [inv. num. M-16]