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Breastplate (body armour): HEN.M.11C-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update

Maker(s)

Unknown

Entities

Categories

Description

Breastplate with associated skirt, for light field use. Formed of a main plate of 'peascod' fashion, with moveable gussets at the arm-openings and an associated skirt of two upward-overlapping lames. The broad, concave neck-opening and the gussets have bold, file-roped inward turns. That at the neck-opening is accompanied by a V-shaped, recessed border. The arm-openings of the main-plate are bordered by pairs of incised lines which appear to have been refreshed at some points. The gussets at the arm-openings are secured to the main plate by modern, round-headed rivets at their upper and lower ends. Those at the upper end move within diagonal slots cut in the gussets, and are fitted with circular, internal washers. Later holes in both the main plate and the gussets, located just above each of the upper rivets, must at some time have served to secure the latter to the former. The holes in the main plate are plugged with modern, round-headed rivets, while those in the gussets are now vacant. The hole in the left gusset is broken out to the edge. A later wiring-hole is pierced at the lower end of each gusset. Attached by a single, externally-flush rivet within the upper end of each gusset, is a modern double-ended, tongued iron buckle with a rounded hasp and rectangular loops decorated with lines of punched cabling. The lower edge of the main plate is flanged outwards to receive the skirt. The angle of the flange is crudely pierced at its centre with a pair of later holes of uncertain function. The skirt is formed of two upward-overlapping lames of shallow, chevron shape, of which the second is a modern restoration. Each lame is decorated at its upper edge with a pair of incised lines. Those of the first lame are refreshed at points. The lower edge of the second lame is cut off straight over the crotch, and decorated there with a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a narrow, recessed border. The lower edge of the first lame was at one time cut away in a shallow, concave curve over the crotch, and decorated with a file-roped, inward turn accompanied by a narrow, recessed border. The turn and border have subsequently been hammered out. The lames are connected to one another and to the flange of the main plate by modern round-headed rivets with circular internal washers at each side. Vacant rivet-holes occur just to the inside of the left connecting-rivet, and just to the outside of the right connecting-rivet in the flange of the main plate. The lower edge of the first lame of the skirt shows some cracks. Each side of the upper edge of the first lame shows evidence of having been pierced with three pairs of rivet-holes which have subsequently been plugged with externally-flush rivets. The holes must at one time have served to attach straps for the suspension of tassets. Attached at each side of the upper edge of the second lame by single round-headed rivets with iron rosette washers are a pair of modern leather straps for the suspension of tassets. The straps are of buff leather, with the exception of the inner one on the right side which has later been replaced by one of polished leather. The rosette washers are decorated with punched hatching. That for the inner strap of the left side lacks one petal. The rivets that retain the outer straps are also those that connect the two lames of the skirt to one another. Part of the composite three-quarter armour HEN.M.11A-H-1933

Notes

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: 18.5 cm
Height: 47.4 cm
Weight: 2.79 kg
Width: 40.8 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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

Dating

16th Century, Late
Production date: circa AD 1580

Note

Differences in internal and external colour allow the second lame of the skirt to be recognised as a modern restoration. The first lame of the skirt, because it shows evidence of having been arched over the crotch and fitted with straps for the suspension of tassets, must originally or at some time have formed the lowest lame of a skirt. The profile of the upper edge of the first lame does not match the waist-line of the main plate of the breastplate very well, suggesting that the skirt lame is associated with the latter. The presence of redundant holes in the waist-flange of the breastplate supports this view.

North Italian

The breastplate and backplate are bright with a light patination and small patches of pitting overall.

Components of the work

Straps composed of leather ( modern)
Buckle composed of iron (metal)
Decoration
Parts
Rosette Washers

Materials used in production

Steel

Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed of a main plate of 'peascod' fashion, with moveable gussets at the arm-openings and an associated skirt of two upward-overlapping lames; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped, incised lines, punched hatching and recessed decoration
Patinating
Forming

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.11C-1933
Primary reference Number: 17806
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 January 2016 Last processed: Friday 8 December 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 (2024) "Breastplate (body armour)" Web page available at: https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/17806 Accessed: 2024-05-21 14:57:44

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url=https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/id/object/17806 |title=Breastplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-21 14:57:44|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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https://data.fitzmuseum.cam.ac.uk/api/v1/objects/object-17806

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