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Gauntlet: HEN.M.14J-1933

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 31 (Armoury)


Unknown (Possibly)




Gauntlet for the left hand, of fingered form, for field use. Formed of a fairly short, flared cuff, six 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 shorter inner plate. The latter fits within the former and is secured to it at each side by two modern brass-capped, round-headed rivets. The medially-ridged outer plate rises to an obtuse central point. The upper edge of the cuff has a plain inward turn accompanied by nineteen modern round-headed lining-rivets. One of the rivets at each side is also that which secures the inner and outer plates of the cuff to one another. The rivets are of brass-capped iron, except for one which is of solid brass. Seven of the rivets are fitted with circular or octagonal internal washers that in most cases retain fragments of a buff-leather lining-band. The lower edge of the cuff has a plain inward turn at the inside of the wrist. The outer plate of the cuff is overlapped by a series of six upward-overlapping metacarpal-plates, the last of which is slightly longer than the rest and overlapped by a knuckle-plate. The metacarpal-plates and the knuckle-plate are all medially-ridged. The knuckle-plate is also transversely-ridged and shaped between the fingers. The last metacarpal-plate is pierced just to the front of its centre with a later wiring-hole that has subsequently been partially closed by hammering. The cuff, the metacarpal-plates and the knuckle-plate are connected to one another at their outer ends by modern brass or brass-capped, round-headed rivets with circular or octagonal internal washers. The rivets at the rear and the rivets that connect the third to fifth lames to one another at the front, retain modern buff-leather lining-bands. The upper edge of the knuckle-plate projects as a rounded lobe at its articulation-points. Attached within the knuckle-plate by pairs of round-headed rivets are four finger-defences formed of between five and six medially-ridged, downward-overlapping scales, of which the last has a rounded end, slightly shaped to the finger-tip. The rivets that attach the first to third finger-defences are of brass-capped iron with circular internal washers, while those that attach the fourth finger-defence are of solid brass with octagonal internal washers. The scales of the finger-defences are secured to their underlying leather strips by pairs of externally-flush rivets. Each of the terminal scales is additionally secured at its tip by a round-headed rivet which is of brass-capped iron with a circular internal washer, except in the case of the fourth finger-defence where it is of solid brass with an octagonal internal washer. The finger-defences are probably associated and in part restored. Attached by a modern buff-leather hinge to the front edge of the gauntlet is a thumb-defence. The hinge is secured to the gauntlet by the same rivets that connect the fourth to sixth metacarpal-plates to one another. It is secured to the rear edge of the main plate of the thumb-defence by a pair of round-headed rivets with square internal washers. The upper rivet is of brass-capped iron, while the lower rivet is of solid brass. The main plate is of lozenge shape with a rounded upper end and a truncated lower end where it overlaps two downward-overlapping scales matching those of the finger-defences. The brass-capped, round-headed rivet with a circular internal washer located at the tip of the terminal scale does not pass through its underlying leather strip. The main plate is medially-ridged. A transverse ridge runs from the point of the knuckle to its rear edge. A brass-capped, round-headed rivet with a circular internal washer located at the rear edge of the main plate retains a fragment of a modern buff-leather loop that passed around the thumb. 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: 13.1 cm
Height: 31.4 cm
Weight: 0.52 kg
Width: 13.3 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Production date: circa AD 1620


The gauntlet is bright with a light patination overall, except on the finger-defences which show a medium patination.

Components of the work

Lining-band composed of leather ( fragments)
Loop composed of leather ( modern, fragments)
Lining-bands composed of leather ( modern, rivets that connect 3rd to 5th lames to one another at the front of cuff, and at rear)
Rivets, Caps composed of brass (alloy) ( modern)
Hinge composed of leather ( modern)
Lining-rivet composed of brass (alloy) ( one is solid brass)
Lining-rivets composed of iron (metal)
Lining-rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy)
Main Plate
Outer Plate

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed of a fairly short, flared cuff, six metacarpal-plates, a knuckle-plate, five scaled finger-defences, and a hinged, scaled thumb-defence; hammered, shaped, riveted, medially and transversely-ridged, with incised decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.14J-1933
Primary reference Number: 17930
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 14 September 2022 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) "Gauntlet" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-21 15:48:16

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{{cite web|url= |title=Gauntlet |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-21 15:48:16|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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