These items were chosen for the display in conjunction with the Forging, 2016. The first official annual gathering of the United League of Armourers in Asheville NC Nov. 4-6 2016. The items were chosen to allow for illustration using authentic pieces of the types of armour that were being built during the working sessions. I added some partially complete bits and pieces including two greaves, a gothic elbow and a partially completed gussed to facilitate conversations. The ECW breastplate was used during the session describing making a 17th c. breastplate, the gauntlets were extensively discussed and the 1500-1510 breastplate was used as inspiration for a session Eric Dube presented where he recreated a similar breastplate.


German Gothic Gauntlet

German Gothic Gauntlet circa 1480-90

Single gauntlet for the right hand. Nicely formed 'Gothic' gauntlet typical of the late 15th century in Germany. 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. The cuff is pointed with a small outward turn. The knuckle, metacarpal, wrist and cuff plates are attached with sliding rivets allowing the wrist to flex in all directions. The knuckle plate is formed into a rounded crease over each knuckle. The base of the thumb is covered by a large plate secured to the metacarpal plate with a hinge. The thumb and fingers are covered by two plates bridged by a pointed knuckle plate that overlaps the other two plates. The finger plates are secured to a plate inside the knuckle plate. This plate is secured to the sides of the knuckle plate. Rivets replaced. Finger and thumb plates are probably also modern, but well made.

Thickness: cuff generally 0.028 in (varying, .025-.032), wrist plate and next hand plate app. .030, main hand plate .030-.055 - mostly .040-.050, knuckle plate can't reasonably me measured due to the inner plate and finger plates.

Weight: 13.2 ounces (375 g). [inv. num. A-213]

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 accommodate 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 with slots app. 1/4 in. long. 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.

Thickness: Generally around .030 in. The back of hand plate is pretty consistently .028-.032. The knuckle plate varies more, generally .025-.030, the finger plates vary even more - .020-030. The hinge is folded over. The overall thickness of the two layers is .060 at the bend, the actual metal is likely a little thinner. The pin is .090 in diameter, the hinge is .450 wide at the pin. The partial plate is 3/4 in. wide at the center, .7 in. at near the bulge at the end, .85 at the bulge for the rivet. The second finger plate is just over 1 in. wide. The first plate is app. 1 1/16 in. wide. The main hand plate is 2 in wide at the first knuckle tapering to 1 11/16ths at the fourth knuckle.

Weight: 4.6 ounces (130 grams) [inv. num. A-47]

English Breastplate

English Breastplate circa 1650

Central crease, flared bottom. Rolls at the arm holes. Neck flared to form an integral collar with rolled edge. Pins for securing shoulder straps and belt clips. By Sylvester Keene. London Armourer's company and SK mark. The central crease is very crisp and sharp. There are faint signs of a proof mark. The belt loops are forged - the upper part drawn out into a circle, the bottom slightly tapered and with a small roll at the end. The transition is not bent, you can see the thickness of the metal between the top that was drawn out sideways to form the circle and the bottom that was tapered and thinned. The inside is painted with what appear to be 2 large letters, a clear 'E' and the remains of a 'O' or 'C'. [inv. num. A-119]


Backplate circa 1640

One piece with integral collar. Flair at the waist. Rolls at the neck, arms and waist. Remains of stamps near the neck - IW and one less clear which appears to be an a surmounted with something (some version of the London Armourer's company mark). IW is recorded as registered to John Wright between 1637-1647 and also seems to have been used by Joseph Whorewood between 1648 and 1678. [inv. num. A-136]


Breastplate circa 1500-1510

Italian/Flemish. One piece breastplate with central crease. Angular outward-turned rolls at the neck and arms. Flaired bottom edge for a fauld.

Measurements: 13 in. tall, 13 1/2 in wide below the arm holes, 11 3/8 in. wide at the waist. Thickness: center mostly .120-.140 with thick spots up to .150, side tapers down to .080, shoulders taper to .050, but only right at the edge more of the shoulder area is no thinner than .080. Rolls up to app. 1/2 in. tall at the center. Weight 5 pounds 11.6 ounces (2.595 kilo). [inv. num. A-239]


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]

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 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]


Arm early 17th c.

Italian. Rough from the hammer. Vambrace with very slight tulip shape on the outer plate, inner plate secured by an inset hinge at the back and a pin engaging a hole in the outer plate at the front. Deep, broad cop with slight pointw at the center of the top and bottom. One lame below and above securing the cop to the vambrace. Upper formed of two large plates and two further smaller plates. The bottom two forming a turning collar. The top two secured to each other and the remainder by sliding rivets at the back and with leathers at the front and center. Leathers secured by pairs of rivets in each plate (leathers lost). interior edges of vambraces, cop and lames with pairs of chisel assembly marks. Engraved lines generally trippled parallel to the edges. Edges with inward turned plain rolls except at the elbow of the upper vambrace plate where the roll is turned outward.

Measurements: weight: 4 pounds 9.6 ounces (2.090 kilo).

Provenance: Ex. JW Higgins Armoury (inv. no. 927). Dr Bashford Dean, Riverdale, New York, purchased from his estate 28 September 1929. [inv. num. A-238]


Elbow circa 1510

Of simple shell form covering the outside of the elbow and gently shaped to the inside of the elbow. Rounded form over the point of the elbow. Retains later leathers to secure the elbow to the upper and lower arm plates and a strap and buckle around the elbow. Some minor losses to the rear corner. This would have formed part of a splint arm for a simple infantry armour of the early 16th century known as an Almain Rivet. Height 5 7/8 in. Thickness generally .038-.041 with an area that is app. 047 in. Weight 6.4 oz.(175g) [inv. num. A-229]

Two couters

Two couters circa 1490

A pair of elbows - one is authentic, the other a well made copy. Each of shell form, pointed at the outside of the elbow and with a flare at the inside of the bend of the elbow. The outer surface covered by three stepped flutes on each side and a central squared raised ridge. Each of these is accentuated by an engraved line at the base of the step. The outer edge is decorated by a series of five cusps. The back and inside of the wing are plain. The cops have modern straps and have four holes at the center to secure the cop to the arm. Four holes are usually indicative of laces, but these holes appear to be smaller than would be normal for this. The form, decorative elements and four holes indicate a late 15th century date for the elbow.

Measurements: Elbow thickness varies significantly reflecting the rough interior surface - a few thick areas app. .060, thin areas app. .030. Varies significantly even in spots close to each other often between .040 and 050 in one area of the center. It appears this elbow was shaped roughly and ground to its smooth surface, not hammered to the exact shape.

Weights: elbow: 7.4 ounces (210g). [inv. num. A-214]

Couter (elbow cop)

Couter (elbow cop) circa 1500

Formed in a single piece wrapping two thirds of the way around the arm. With a raised ridge bordered by a parallel recessed border around outer edge of the wing and front of the cop, each accented by an engraved line. One rivet at the center to secure a leather connecting the cop to the vambrace and rivet and hole to secure a strap around the elbow. The cop formed with a blunt medial ridge forming a shallow point. This elbow is formed in a plain style that may be of either German or Italian origin. From the personal collection of Claude Blair.

Measurements 18.5 cm wide. 6 5/8 in. tall at the widest part of the wing, 5 in. tall at the back edge, and 6 in. from the point of the center of the wing to the back edge. Thickness .050-.080, generally in the .060-.075 range. [inv. num. A-185]

Floating elbow

Floating elbow circa 1560

Italian. Of nearly bracelet form. There is a narrow gap of app 1/2 inch between the rear edge of the cop and the wing. The cop is asymetric, being flatter at the back and rising to a peak at the center from slightly behind the point of the elbow through the wing. The wing is slightly larger on one side than the other indicating that this is a right elbow. The outer edges are rolled and roped for their entire length. The roll is bordered by a recessed border on the front portion of the wing. There is a central raised roped band running along most of the raised portion of the cop. There are 2 holes on the front and one at the back for attachment of the cop to the vambrace plates. There is an old collection number in white paint ('178') on the back of the wing. Some delaminations on the inside.

Height of cop app. 3 1/2 inches, and the wing app. 5 inches. Length app. 7 1/2 inches from the point of the elbow to the opposite edge of the wing.

Weight 9.6 ounces (275 g). [inv. num. A-24]


Greaves circa 1560

Flemish. Covering the front and outside of the shin and calf. Right from the period, left of somewhat heavier form and possibly more recently made to match. Atypically for a copy the right includes equivalent adaptations in the methods used to secure the greaves to the cuisses. From the George F. Harding Collection. Thickness - right generally .035 - .045 with some areas as thin as .025 and some thicker areas app. .050. Left generally closer to .060 with some thinner areas app. .050 and some thick areas close to .070. [inv. num. A-125]

German Greave plate (front)

German Greave plate (front) late 16th cent

Originally part of a complete cased greave. Designed to be worn with a full legharness and mail sabatons. Greave has good shape and terminates at the ankle where it has a rolled edge and a series of small holes for the attachment of the mail sabaton. The turning hook used to secure it to the lower plate of the poleyn remains. There is a brass collection tag with the number c. 27, and a paper one with the number c. 57. This was originally a very nice piece - it has a wide etched bands of decoration at the center and narrow bands at each edge. There are remnants of gilt in the etching. This style of greave built for use with a mail sabaton was often used in Italy. The style of etching is associated with Augsburg Germany. The etched decoration is app. 1/2' wide at the sides. The central band tapers from app. 2 1/8' to 1 1/2'.

Height 12 in. at the center crease, 4 1/2' wide at the calf, 3' wide at the ankle.

Varies between .018' and .036' thick. It is generally thicker near the ankle and thinner at the calf. [inv. num. A-38]


Burgonet circa 1600

Augsburg. One piece skull with high comb and integral peak. Single neck lame and a pair of cheek plates. Rough from the hammer. [inv. num. A-276]

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.

Weight 2 pounds 10.6 ounces (1205g). [inv. num. A-6]


Lot of medieval elements

Lot of medieval elements circa Assorted

Lot of buckles. Mainly 14th-15th century. Most retaining the plates used to mount them to the belt. Some have separate mounting plates, some have integral plates. excavated. For the most part 14th-15th cent. [inv. num. L-x9]