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Vambrace: HEN.M.139-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update


Production: Unknown




Vambrace, for the left 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, and the central section is broken through at its centre. Its lower edge was originally fitted with two externally flush rivets that engaged and moved within horizontal slots cut in the upper edge of the upper cannon. One of the rivets is now missing. The upper cannon has an overlapped and riveted join at the rear. It is pierced at the front with a later hole. 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 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 fastened at the front by a circular stud and hole. The main edges of the vambrace have file-roped inward turns. The vambrace is decorated with raised bright bands and borders against a blackened ground. Probably part of the same composite armour as HEN.M.138-1933, 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: 20.4 cm
Height: 40.0 cm
Weight: 1.63 kg
Width: 12.7 cm

Relative size of this object

12.7 cm40 cm20.4 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


Mid-16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1550


South German

The bright bands show a light to medium patination. The intervening blackened areas are worn through to bright metal at some points, and have been refreshed with black paint.

Components of the work

Loop composed of leather ( modern)
Decoration composed of paint
Bands And Borders

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

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: PB/40
  • Type: Label

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.139-1933
Primary reference Number: 18625
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: 2022-12-05 05:39:34

Citation for Wikipedia

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{{cite web|url= |title=Vambrace |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2022-12-05 05:39:34|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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