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Pauldron: HEN.M.131-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update




Reinforce for the left pauldron, for use in the tourney field, with bands of etched decoration. Formed in one piece with a high, upstanding haute-piece. The lower half of the reinforce is shaped to the shoulder, the armpit and the top of the chest. The outside of the shoulder and the centre of the haute-piece are each strongly boxed along a vertical ridge. The upper edge of the haute-piece is nearly horizontal, with strongly rounded outer ends. It has a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a recessed border that continues around the convex edge of the portion of the reinforce that extends over the chest. The reinforce is pierced just below the centre of its haute-piece with a circular hole to accommodate the stud that would have secured it to the front of the pauldron. It is further pierced at the lower end of its outer edge with a vertical, rectangular slot that would probably have fitted over a rectangular turning-pin or stud that connected the pauldron to the vambrace.
The reinforce is decorated in a medial band, and in a short diagonal band that runs downwards and outwards from the centre of the haute-piece, with etched trophies, birds, dolphins, fantastic animals, herms and horned masks on a stippled and blackened ground. The same design occurs in the borders that run all the way around the edge of the reinforce, except where it overlaps the top of the arm. The base of the haute-piece is decorated with a narrow band of etched guilloche on a blackened ground. All the bands and borders that decorate the piece are themselves enclosed by groups of either two or three plain, narrow bands. The lines between the narrow bands show traces of gilding at some points.


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: 15.4 cm
Height: 26.7 cm
Weight: 1.21 kg
Width: 29.8 cm

Relative size of this object

29.8 cm26.7 cm15.4 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 16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1580


North Italian

The reinforce is bright, with a light patina overall. Its surface shows some cracks where the metal has delaminated. Its etched decoration shows moderate wear.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Decoration composed of gilt ( traces) Border Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed in one-piece with a high, upstanding haute-piece; hammered, shaped, riveted, with bands of etched decoration and file-roped decoration, and recessed borders, with traces of gilding

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.131-1933
Primary reference Number: 18612
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Friday 13 January 2012 Last processed: Sunday 21 March 2021

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 (2022) "Pauldron" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-08 11:54:38

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Pauldron |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-08 11:54:38|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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