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Backplate (body armour): HEN.M.21B-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown (Probable)




Backplate, for use by an harquebusier. Formed in one piece with a narrow, upward-flanged neck-opening, and a short flange at the waist. Its arm-openings, neck-openings and waist-flange have plain, inward turns bordered by single incised lines. The turns at the neck-opening and the waist-flange are also bordered by round-headed lining-rivets. Attached by a pair of round-headed rivets at each shoulder beneath an old but probably not original scale, is a modern leather shoulder-strap. Each strap terminates in a long, modern plate pierced with two circular holes to accommodate the mushroom-headed studs of the breastplate. Each side of the backplate is pierced with a pair of horizontally-aligned holes for the attachment of a waist-belt. A round-headed rivet that occupies the inner of each of the pair of holes, retains the modern straps that now form the waist-belt. The right strap terminates in a single-ended, tongued iron buckle. A modern, vertical suspension-slot is pierced between the shoulder-blades. Part of the incomplete half-armour HEN.M.21A-C-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: 15.5 cm
Height: 37.2 cm
Weight: 1.98 kg
Width: 34.3 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century#
Production date: circa AD 1630


The backplate is heavily pitted and patinated to a russet colour.

Components of the work

Shoulder-strap composed of leather ( modern)
Buckle composed of iron (metal)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : Formed in one piece with a narrow, upward-flanged neck-opening, and a short flange at the waist; hammered, shaped, riveted, decorated with incised lines

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: tag with number

  • Text: PB 14
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.21B-1933
Primary reference Number: 18073
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 8 January 2016 Last processed: Thursday 3 August 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 (2023) "Backplate (body armour)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2023-10-02 18:32:49

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Backplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2023-10-02 18:32:49|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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