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Backplate (body armour): HEN.M.11D-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Backplate with skirt, for field use. Formed of a main plate, weakly shaped to the shoulder-blades, and a skirt of one lame. The nearly straight neck-opening and the arm-openings of the main plate have file-roped inward turns accompanied by a recessed border. Attached by a pair of externally-flush rivets within each of the upper corners of the main plate is a modern, buff leather shoulder-strap with a bifurcated proximal end. Attached by a round-headed rivet with a circular external rosette washer and a circular, internal washer at each side of the waist is a modern leather strap that serves as a waist-belt. The rosette washers are decorated with punched hatching. The left strap terminates in a modern double-ended, tongued, iron buckle with a rounded hasp secured by a single round-headed rivet. The buckle has a rectangular distal loop and a D-shaped proximal loop decorated with file-roping. A later hole pierced at the centre of the upper border of the main plate has subsequently been plugged with an externally-flush rivet. Later wiring-holes are pierced at the centre of the waist and the lower end of each arm-opening. The lower edge of the main plate is flanged outwards to receive the skirt of one lame. The upper edge of the lame is decorated with a pair of modern incised lines. Its nearly straight lower edge is decorated with a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a recessed border. Each end of the border is pierced with a later large, circular hole, possibly for wiring-purposes. The skirt-lame is attached to the flange of the main plate at each side by a single, modern round-headed rivet with an octagonal internal washer. Part of the composite three-quarter armour HEN.M.11A-H-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: 16.3 cm
Height: 41.6 cm
Weight: 1.49 kg
Width: 38.4 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


16th Century, Mid#
Production date: circa AD 1550


South Germany

The backplate and skirt are bright with a medium and partly mottled patination overall. Their surfaces show extensive scoring resulting from mechanical cleaning.

The incised lines that decorate the upper edge of the skirt-lame have been added in modern times to make the backplate match other elements of the composite armour into which it was incorporated.

Components of the work

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

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed of a main plate, weakly shaped to the shoulder-blades, and a skirt of one lame; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped decoration, incised lines, punched hatching and recessed decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: the letter D turned on its side, and another mark, possibly identifiable as the letter I

  • Text: D
  • Location: To the left of centre
  • Method of creation: Struck
  • Type: Mark

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.11D-1933
Primary reference Number: 17807
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 January 2016 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Backplate (body armour)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-18 00:29:21

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