Skip to main content

Vambrace: HEN.M.8F-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Vambrace for the right arm, for field use, with etched decoration. Formed of a tubular turner, a tubular upper cannon, a winged bracelet couter, and a tubular lower cannon. The turner and upper cannon are each closed by overlapped and riveted joins at their rears. Riveted at the outside of the turner is a flat turning pin with a semi-circular head to engage a slot in the pauldron. The couter is formed of three lames that overlap outwards from the third which is shaped to the point of the elbow and expands to a narrow wing at both the front and the rear. The lames are connected to one another and to the upper and lower cannons by rivets at their outer ends. The lower cannon is formed of an inner and an outer plate: the former fitting within the latter. The plates are connected to one another at the rear by a pair of external hinges, and were formerly fastened at the front by a circular stud and hole. The stud is now missing. The lower edge of the outer plate of the lower cannon and the wing of the couter have file-roped inward turns. The upper and lower edges of the inner plate of the lower cannon and the upper edge of the turner have plain inward turns. The vambrace is decorated on the wings of the couter and in a medial band with etched interlacing foliage involving trophies and oval cartouches enclosing human figures, all on stippled and blackened ground. It is further decorated in subsidiary bands with etched stylised acanthus foliage, also on a stippled and blackened ground. The main and subsidiary bands are enclosed by groups of narrower bands that are in some cases decorated with guilloche or roping. These narrower bands are repeated at some of the main and secondary edges of the vambrace. Part of the composite half armour HEN.M.8A-F-1933


History note: Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 17.7 cm
Height: 39.0 cm
Weight: 0.87 kg
Width: 12.8 cm

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


16th Century
Circa 1580 - 1590


North Italian

The inner plate of the lower cannon fits the outer plate poorly. Its decoration and that of the turner are fresher than the remainder of the etching, suggesting that at least some of the decoration of the vambrace is modern.

The vambrace is bright with a medium patination overall. The etched decoration is extensively worn.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a tubular turner, a tubular upper cannon, a winged bracelet couter, and a tubular lower cannon; hammered, shaped, riveted, hinged, decorated with etching

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: on tag

  • Text: PB/38
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.8F-1933
Primary reference Number: 17764
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 7 January 2016 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Vambrace" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-12-07 14:16:20

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Vambrace |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-12-07 14:16:20|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like


Accession Number: M.1.6-1936


Accession Number: M.1-X


Accession Number: M.1.7B-1936

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...