Skip to main content

Pauldron: M.10-1945

Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Unknown (Possibly)




Pauldron for the left shoulder, for tourney or foot 'combat' use in the lists, with bands of etched and gilt decoration. Formed of four upward-overlapping, medially-ridged lames, each of which is made of two thicknesses of metal, hammer-welded together. All four lames extend well over the chest at the front. The first lame, which is shaped to the point of the shoulder, similarly extends well over the back and is expanded downwards to the level of the bottom of the fourth lame. The expanded portion has a strongly convex inner and lower edge and is flanged at its outer edge where it overlaps the inner ends of the second to fourth lames which extend only as far as the armpit. The upper edge of the first lame is flanged upwards and outwards at the front and outside to form a full haute-piece with a convex upper edge. The front of the first lame is pierced near the point of the shoulder with a threaded hole for the attachment of a reinforce. The threaded hole is backed by a vertical, round-ended strip attached by an externally-flush rivet top and bottom. The second to fourth lames are increasingly shaped to the contours of the upper arm. The rounded, inner, lower corner of the fourth lame dips downwards a little. The lames are connected to one another at the rear by modern, round-headed sliding-rivets with octagonal, internal washers, and at the centre by a modern, internal leather, patched at its upper end and secured to each lame by a pair of rivets with octagonal internal washers. The rivets on the first and fourth lames are round-headed, while those on the second and third lames are externally-flush. The lames were originally connected to one another by a further two internal leathers at the front, now represented only by the pairs of rivet-holes for their attachment. All of the holes in the fourth lame and those for the outer rivets of the outer leather in the remaining lames are now occupied by round-headed rivets. The rivets occupying the holes for the attachment of the outer leather also pass through overlying construction-holes, formerly occupied by decorative round-headed rivets, and so now rigidly secure the lames to one another. The top rivet is fitted with a circular, internal washer. The top, front rivet for the central leather also secures a short, modern, strap terminating in a modern, single-ended, iron buckle with a tongue and roller, intended to engage a strap from the pauldron. The first lame is decorated at the inner and lower edges of its expanded rear portion with seven modern, round-headed rivets. It is decorated with another such rivet just below the front end of the haute-piece and also a short distance below the rear end of the haute-piece. These rivets may have helped to prevent the two layers of the metal from separating. The lower edge of the fourth lame is pierced at both the front and rear of the armpit with a small rivet-hole for the attachment of the strap and buckle that fastened the pauldron around the inside of the arm. All the main edges of the pauldron, except at the top rear and flange of the first lame, and the rears of the second to fourth lames have roped inward turns. The turns are accompanied by borders of etched scrolling foliage involving flowerheads, trophies of arms, musical instruments, grotesque masks and birds on a stippled ground. The same design is repeated in three vertical bands that respectively decorate the front, outside and rear of the pauldron. The borders and bands are in every case enclosed by raised ribs from which alternating vine-leaves and acanthus-leaves, sometimes separated by small tendrils, issue diagonally upwards and outwards. The inside of the rear of the pauldron shows traces of a third raised rib within the others, which was, however, hammered out by the armourer when he moved the decorative band outwards by its own width. The borders and bands retain substantial traces of gilding especially on the front of the pauldron, while the projecting leaves and tendrils are blackened.


History note: Sold by a Paris saleroom during the winter of 1902-03; with Victor Bachereau, Paris in July 2003; Samuel J. Whawell from whom purchased by the donor

Legal notes

Given by F.H. Cripps-Day

Measurements and weight

Depth: 25.4 cm
Height: 24.5 cm
Weight: 1.7 kg
Width: 21.1 cm

Place(s) associated

  • Augsburg ⪼ Germany

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Given (1945-10-16) by Cripps-Day, Francis Henry


16th Century, Mid#
Production date: circa AD 1550


Other parts of the armour garniture to which this pauldron belongs are now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

South German, possibly Augsburg

The pauldron is bright with medium patination overall.

Components of the work

Decoration composed of gilt

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of two four upward-overlapping, medially-ridged lames, each of which is made of two thicknesses of metal, hammer-welded together; hammered, shaped, riveted, hammer-welded, with bands of etched and gilt decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: catalogue number

  • Text: 100
  • Location: Inside of the rear of the pauldron
  • Method of creation: Painted black
  • Type: Number
  • Text: C-D
  • Location: Inside of the rear of the pauldron
  • Method of creation: Painted in black
  • Type: Initials

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.10-1945
Primary reference Number: 18634
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 25 November 2020 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) "Pauldron" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-06-13 09:41:39

Citation for Wikipedia

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

{{cite web|url= |title=Pauldron |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-06-13 09:41:39|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:

Sign up for updates

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