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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

Relative size of this object

36 cm39.3 cm15.6 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 17th Century
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: Sunday 21 March 2021

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) "Breastplate (body armour)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-01-28 01:53:24

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{{cite web|url= |title=Breastplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-01-28 01:53:24|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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