Skip to main content

Vambrace: HEN.M.138-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Unknown (Production)


Vambrace, for the right arm, for field use. Formed of a tubular turner, a tubular upper cannon, a winged couter of three lames, and a tubular lower cannon. The turner is closed by an overlapped and riveted join at the inside of the arm where it is fitted with a modern leather loop. At the outside, it is articulated twice along concave lines. The top section of the turner is missing. Its lower edge is bordered by a file-roped rib, the hollowed underside of which locks over the outward-flanged upper edge of the upper cannon. The upper cannon has an overlapped and riveted join at the rear. The couter is formed of three lames that overlap outwards from the second which is shaped to the point of the elbow and furnished with a centrally-puckered oval wing at the front. The lower edge of the second lame is repaired with a riveted internal patch. The tapering lower cannon is formed of an inner and an outer plate: the former fitting within the latter. The two plates are connected to one another at the rear by an internal hinge, and were formerly fastened at the front by a stud and a circular hole. The stud has been replaced by a rivet that now prevents the lower cannon from being opened. The lower edge of the lower cannon and the wing of the couter have file-roped inward turns. The upper and lower cannons have plain inward turns at the inside of the elbow. The upper edge of the turner has a plain partial inward turn. The vambrace is decorated with raised bright bands and borders against a blackened ground in the 'black and white' fashion. Probably part of the same composite armour as HEN.M.139-1933, HEN.M.144-1933 and HEN.M.145-1933.


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: 17.3 cm
Height: 39.5 cm
Weight: 1.01 kg
Width: 12.3 cm

Relative size of this object

12.3 cm39.5 cm17.3 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


Mid-16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1560


South German

The bright bands show a medium patination. The intervening blackened areas have been refreshed with black paint.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of paint ( black) Bands And Borders Ground Parts

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of a tubular turner, a tubular upper cannon, a winged couter of three lames, and a tubular lower cannon; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped decoration, and raised bands and borders against a blackened ground in the 'black and white' fashion

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: PB/39
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.138-1933
Primary reference Number: 18623
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) "Vambrace" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-08-07 17:33:56

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Vambrace |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-08-07 17:33:56|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

Please enter your name as you would like to be addressed
Please enter your email address
The object accession number - this is prefilled
Please enter your query with as much detail as possible

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...