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Backplate (body armour): HEN.M.22D-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown (Probably)




A backplate, for a pikeman, decorated with embossed and engraved bands and chevrons. The backplate is formed in one piece with a wide neck-opening and a waist-flange that forms a short skirt. The lower edge of the skirt descends to an obtuse central point. The left end of the skirt is broken away. Riveted at each shoulder is a modern leather shoulder-strap with a modern pierced terminal of iron. Riveted at each side of the waist is a pierced rectangular stud that would originally have engaged hinged hasps riveted at each side of the breastplate.
The main edges of all parts of the armour have plain inward turns. The armour is decorated throughout with multiple bands and borders of 'terraced' form that project inwards at intervals as chevrons. The bands are emphasised by single and pairs of incised lines. The armour is decorated throughout with borders and lines of brass-capped rivets, most of which serve as lining-rivets. Part of the pikeman's armour HEN.M.22A-E-1933.


History note: From Brancepeth Castle, Northumberland. Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Downs Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Measurements and weight

Depth: 20.9 cm
Height: 37.3 cm
Weight: 2.22 kg
Width: 39.2 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London

Acquisition and important dates

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


17th Century, Early#
Production date: AD 1630


England; probably Greenwich

The backplate is painted black.

Components of the work

Shoulder-strap composed of leather ( modern)
Pierced Terminal composed of iron (metal)
Rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammering : The backplate is formed in one piece with a wide neck-opening and a waist-flange that forms a short skirt; hammered, shaped, riveted, wirh embossed, engraved, and incised decoration

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.22D-1933
Primary reference Number: 18088
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 30 June 2016 Last processed: Thursday 7 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) "Backplate (body armour)" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-05-22 12:41:55

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{{cite web|url= |title=Backplate (body armour) |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-05-22 12:41:55|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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