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Gauntlets: HEN.M.9J-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)

Maker(s)

Production: Unknown

Entities

Categories

Description

Pair of gauntlets, of fingered form, for field use, composed of elements of different styles and dates. Each formed of a flared cuff, three wrist-plates, five metacarpal-plates, a knuckle-plate, five scaled finger-defences, and a hinged, scaled thumb-defence. The cuff is formed of an outer plate and a slightly shorter inner plate. The latter fits within the former and is secured to it at either side by three modern, brass-capped, round-headed rivets with circular internal washers. The outer plate is medially-ridged and has a convex upper edge. The upper edge of the cuff has a file-roped, inward turn accompanied by a recessed border that descends to a V-shaped projection at the centre of the outer plate. The border is occupied by ten modern round-headed lining-rivets. Those at each side, which are also the uppermost of the rivets that secure the two plates of the cuff to one another, are fitted with circular internal rivets. The concave lower edge of the inner plate has a plain outward turn. The outer plate of the cuff overlaps three downward overlapping wrist-plates of which the first two are short and have concave lower edges, and the third is slightly longer and has convex upper and lower edges. The third plate is decorated with a pair of transverse, incised lines. The lower edge of the third plate is overlapped by six upward-overlapping metacarpal plates with concave upper edges. The first five lames are short. The lower end of the longer sixth plate is cut away in a concave curve at its inner end and is strongly shaped between the knuckles with flutes of V-section. The wrist-plates and the first five matacarpal-plates are medially-ridged. The sixth metacarpal plate is overlapped at its lower edge by a knuckle-plate that is strongly shaped to the point of each knuckle. The lower edge of the knuckle-plate overlaps a short finger-plate that is strongly shaped between the fingers with flutes of V-section. The cuffs, the wrist-plates, the metacarpal plates, the knuckle-plate and the finger-plate are connected to one another at their outer ends by round-headed rivets fitted with circular internal washers except for those that connect the first wrist-plate to the cuff. The second and third wrist lames and the first metacarpal-plate are connected to one another by common rivets at each side. The edges of the lames project as obtusely-pointed lobes at their articulation-points. Vacant holes pierced in the cuff of the left gauntlet and the first wrist-lame of the right gauntlet, just to the outside of the rivets that now articulate the first wrist-plate to the cuff, probably represent earlier articulation-points. Holes plugged by externally-flush rivets at the front and rear ends of the first wrist-lame of the right gauntlet, the front end of the first wrist-lame of the left gauntlet and the rear end of the second wrist-lame of the right gauntlet may at some time have retained straps that ran across the insides of the wrists. Similarly plugged holes at the front end of the fifth and sixth metacarpal-plates of the right gauntlet may at some time have retained straps that ran across the palms. Attached within the finger-plate of each gauntlet by four externally-flush rivets in each instance, are four finger-defences formed of between seven and nine medially-ridged, downward-overlapping scales, of which the last has a rounded end, decorated around its edge with a fine, file-roped, partial inward turn, and above the rounded section with an incised chevron, probably intended to represent a fingernail. Each scale is secured to an underlying leather strip by a pair of externally-flush rivets. The final scale of each finger-defence is additionally secured at its tip by a round-headed rivet with a circular internal washer. Attached by a modern, iron hinge to the front edge of each gauntlet is a large thumb-defence. The hinge, which is shaped around its retaining-rivets laterally, is secured to the gauntlet by the rivet that connects the fourth and fifth metacarpal-plates to one another. Holes pierced in the fifth metacarpal-plate of the left gauntlet, just below and to the rear of that rivet, may represent a former attachment-point for the hinge. Each hinge is secured to the rear edge of the main plate of the thumb-defence by a single round-headed rivet with a circular internal washer. The medially-ridged main plate is of inverted triangular form with a truncated apex. Its rear edge is boxed transversely, immediately below the hinge. The main plate is embossed over the point of the first knuckle with an inverted heart on the right gauntlet, and a tear-drop on the left gauntlet. Four upward-overlapping scales issue from within the upper edge of the main plate, and five narrower, downward-overlapping scales issue from within the lower edge of the main plate of each thumb-defence. The scales are all medially-ridged and taper to their distal ends. The terminal scales have rounded ends. The lower terminal scales match those of the finger-defences. Each scale is secured to an underlying modern leather strip by a pair of horizontally-aligned, externally-flush rivets, except in the case of the terminal scales. The upper terminal scale is secured by a pair of vertically-aligned rivets of which the lower one is externally-flush, and the upper one is round-headed with a circular internal washer. The lower terminal scale is secured by two pairs of externally-flush rivets at its upper end, and a single round-headed rivet with a circular internal washer at its lower end. The main plate is secured by two pairs of horizontally-aligned, round-headed rivets with circular internal washers. The upper rear rivet is also that which secures the hinge. Part of the composite armour HEN.M.9A-K-1933

Notes

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

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

16th century
Early 17th Century
Circa 1550 CE - 1560 CE Circa 1610 CE -

Note

From their earlier style, their poor fit and the presence of redundant holes at their points of articulation, it is clear that the cuffs are associated with the remaining elements of the gauntlets. The left cuff is in fact a modern restoration made to match the right. Several scales of the finger and thumb-defences appear also to be modern restorations.

The gauntlets are bright with a light patination overall.

Components of the work

Round Rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy) ( modern)
Hinges composed of iron (metal) ( on thumb defence, modern)
Inner Strip composed of leather ( some modern)
Left Gauntlet Depth 14.1 cm Height 33.4 cm Weight 0.51 kg Width 13.1 cm
Right Gauntlet Depth 14 cm Height 32.3 cm Weight 0.51 kg Width 13.7 cm
Decoration
Main Plate
Outer, Main Plate
Parts
Scales
Thumb Defences

Materials used in production

Steel

Techniques used in production

Hammering : Each formed of a flared cuff, three waist-plates, five metacarpal-plates, a knuckle-plate, five scaled finger-defences, and a hinged, scaled thumb-defence; hammered, shaped, riveted, hinged, medially-ridged, with embossed and incised decoration
Patinating
Forming

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.9J-1933
Primary reference Number: 17776
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Monday 30 November 2020 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

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 (2022) "Gauntlets" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/17776 Accessed: 2022-12-02 03:44:30

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/17776 |title=Gauntlets |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-02 03:44:30|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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