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Couter: HEN.M.135B-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Couter, from a type of arm-defence known as a 'splint', worn with a type of infantry armour known as an 'almain rivet'. Formed of a single, shell-like plate, open at the rear and slightly shaped to the point of the elbow. Its outer edge is almost straight. Its upper and lower edges diverge from the outside to the inside of the elbow where they curve in markedly to a strong medial pucker. The upper and lower edges of the couter are each decorated at the front with a pair of flutes of v-section bordered by incised lines. A pattern of close-set, almost parallel flutes, separated by incised lines, decorates the front face of the couter except near its upper and lower edges. The centre of the front face is fitted with a modern round-headed rivet to retain the missing internal leather that originally connected the couter to the upper and lower elements of the arm-defence. A modern, plain single-ended buckle with a central tongue and leather hasp is attached within the centre of the rear edge of the couter by a modern round-headed rivet and octagonal internal washer. It engages a modern strap which is secured within the centre of the inner end by a similar rivet and washer. The upper and lower borders are each pierced at the front with a later hole that has subsequently been plugged with a rivet. Together with HEN.M.135A-1933, which forms a near pair to it


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: 9.6 cm
Height: 16.9 cm
Weight: 0.264 kg
Width: 15.1 cm

Relative size of this object

15.1 cm16.9 cm9.6 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


Early 16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1510


The couter is bright with light pitting and patination overall.

Components of the work

Hasp composed of leather ( modern)

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a single, shell-like plate, open at the rear and slightly shaped to the point of the elbow; hammered, shaped, riveted, decorated with fluted and incised decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: '2353' over the letter 'b'

  • Text: 2353/b
  • Location: Inside
  • Method of creation: Painted in red
  • Type: Mark

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.135B-1933
Primary reference Number: 18618
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 20 March 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) "Couter" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-11-29 05:04:00

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Couter |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-11-29 05:04:00|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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