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Backplate (body armour): HEN.M.15C-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Backplate, for use by a cuirassier. The backplate is formed in one piece with a narrow waist-flange. The arm-openings and the high narrow neck-openings are bordered by lining-rivets. A modern buff leather shoulder-strap is riveted at the top of each shoulder. A modern shoulder strap is also incorrectly riveted at each side of the neck-opening. A pierced stud, possibly for the attachment of a sword belt is riveted at the left side of the backplate. A modern buff leather strap, forming a waist-belt, is riveted at each side of the waist. The left strap terminates in a single-ended, tongued iron buckle. The backplate is pierced just to the inside of the left shoulder with a large, modern hole. Its waist-flange is pierced midway along each side with a modern hole for the attachment of a skirt. The backplate 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: 15.8 cm
Height: 40.2 cm
Weight: 1.29 kg
Width: 36.5 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

Shoulder-straps composed of leather ( modern)
Waist-belt composed of leather ( modern)
Buckles composed of iron (metal)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : The backplate is formed in one piece with a narrow waist-flange; hammered, shaped, riveted, with decorative incised lines

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.15C-1933
Primary reference Number: 17950
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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Backplate (body armour)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-22 11:41:22

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{{cite web|url= |title=Backplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-22 11:41:22|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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