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Tasset: HEN.M.14E-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)






Tasset for right thigh, for field use. Formed of ten medially-ridged, upward-overlapping lames that widen to its lower end. The inner edge of the tasset is cut away in a shallow, concave curve. The tenth lame, which is deeper than the rest, has a slightly convex lower edge with rounded corners. The lower edge has a strongly file-roped inward turn that merges into plain, partial inward turns at the corners. The roped turn is accompanied by a recessed border enclosed above by a plain, raised rib of V-section. The lateral edges of the tasset have plain, partial inward turns accompanied by a recessed border. The border of the tenth lame is occupied by seven round-headed lining-rivets, all of which are of brass with square or circular internal washers, except for the central one which is of brass-capped iron and lacks its internal washer. The borders of the lateral edges are pierced with holes for a further ten lining-rivets, all now missing. The holes occupy the inner and outer ends of the first, third, fifth, seventh and ninth lames. A similar hole pierced at the outer end of the eighth lame probably represents a later addition. The upper edges of all ten lames of the tasset of the second to tenth lames are also decorated medially with V-shaped nicks. The lames are connected to one another at their inner and outer ends by modern brass-capped, round-headed rivets. That which connects the fourth and fifth lames at their inner ends is fitted with an octagonal internal washer. Those which connect the first and second lames at their outer ends, and the second and third lames at both their inner and outer ends have been replaced by round-headed rivets of solid brass. The lames were further connected to one another at their centres by an internal leather secured by single internally-flush rivets, except at the tenth lame where it was secured by a pair of brass-capped, round-headed rivets with circular internal washers. The washer of the outer rivet is now missing, as is the rivet that connects the leather to the first lame. The leather itself is now represented only by small fragments. The first lame is fitted with three modern, double-ended, tongued, iron suspension-buckles. The buckles have rounded rectangular loops and rectangular hasps with cropped corners and notched sides. They are each retained by single round-headed brass rivets. Holes pierced just above and medial to the inner and outer buckles respectively, probably represent earlier suspension-points. Part of the composite armour HEN.M.14A-L-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: 10.7 cm
Height: 28.7 cm
Weight: 0.8 kg
Width: 30.4 cm

Relative size of this object

30.4 cm28.7 cm10.7 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Acquisition and important dates

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


Late 16th Century
Circa 1570 - 1580


North Italian

The lateral edges of the tasset have been cut and reworked, probably to make it match the tasset with which it has been associated in modern times. The rivets that connect the lames of the tasset to one another at their inner ends, probably replace an internal leather.

The tasset is bright with a light patination overall.

Components of the work

Leathers composed of leather ( fragments)
Rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy) ( some modern)
Buckles composed of iron (metal)
Rivet composed of iron (metal)
Lining-rivets composed of brass (alloy)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed of ten medially-ridged, upward-overlapping lames that widen to its lower end; hammered, shaped, riveted, decorated with recessed borders, raised ribs, incised lines, V-shaped nicks and file-roping

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.14E-1933
Primary reference Number: 17905
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 14 September 2022 Last processed: Wednesday 14 September 2022

Associated departments & institutions

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

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2023) "Tasset" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-06-11 03:10:58

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{{cite web|url= |title=Tasset |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-06-11 03:10:58|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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