Skip to main content

Breastplate (body armour): HEN.M.15B-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Breastplate, for use by a cuirassier. The medially-ridged breastplate is formed in one piece with a narrow flange at the waist. The arm-openings, the deep narrow neck-opening and the waist-flange are bordered by lining-rivets. Each side of the chest is pierced with a hole for the attachment of a missing stud to engage the shoulder-straps of the backplate. These are now engaged by modern double-ended, tongued iron buckles riveted at each shoulder. The waist-flange is pierced midway along each side with a later hole for the attachment of tassets. The breastplate has plain inward turns at its main edges and is decorated with five vertical, slightly diverging bands formed of pairs of incised lines. It is of late 17th century date and was originally intended for use by the harquebusier. Part of the composite three-quarter armour HEN.M.15A-F-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: 15.6 cm
Height: 39.3 cm
Weight: 1.34 kg
Width: 36.0 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Late
Circa 1670 CE - 1700 CE


Now is a russet colour overall, but was originally bright or in parts, perhaps blued

Components of the work

Buckles composed of iron (metal)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : The medially-ridged breastplate is formed in one piece with a narrow flange at the waist; hammered, shaped, riveted, with decorative incised lines

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.15B-1933
Primary reference Number: 17949
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: Accessed: 2024-05-31 00:55:46

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Breastplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-31 00:55:46|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...