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Gauntlets: HEN.M.143-1933

Object information

Awaiting location update






Pair of gauntlets, for field use. Each formed of a fairly short, flared, tubular cuff, four metacarpal-plates, a knuckle-plate, five scaled finger-defences, and a hinged thumb-defence of four scales. The cuff has a slight medial ridge and curves up to an obtuse central point at the outside of the wrist. It has a forward-overlapping join at the inside of the wrist, secured by two externally-flush rivets. The right cuff is cracked through at the join. The upper edge of each cuff has a file-roped turn accompanied by a recessed border. The front of the border is occupied by a modern, round-headed rivet of brass, possibly serving originally to retain a suspension-loop or tab. The cuff is encircled below its recessed border with six modern, round-headed rivets of brass. The inside of the lower edge of the cuff has a fine, file-roped inward turn. The front end of the turn of the right gauntlet has broken away. Attached to the outside of the lower edge of the cuff is a series of five upward-overlapping metacarpal-plates and a shaped knuckle-plate, which are connected to one another at their outer ends by modern, round-headed rivets of brass, two of which on the right gauntlet, and two of which on the left gauntlet are fitted with circular internal washers. Those that connect the third and fourth metacarpal-plates to one another are of brass-capped iron, rather than brass, and fitted with square, internal washers, except at the rear of the right gauntlet. The upper edges of the metacarpal-plates and the knuckle-plate are each decorated with a single incised line. The lower edge of the knuckle-plate is decorated with a filed nick at the centre of each knuckle. Attached within the point of each knuckle by an externally-flush rivet is a modern finger-defence formed of six to seven transversely-curved, downward-overlapping scales, of which the last has a rounded end and is crudely punched with a curved line representing a fingernail. Each scale is attached by a single externally-flush rivet to a leather strip that has in every case torn away from the knuckle-plate to which it is now attached by copper wire. Hinged to the front end of the third metacarpal-plate in each case is a modern thumb-defence. The hinge, which is of buff leather, is secured within the third metacarpal-plate by the rivet and washer that articulates it to the succeeding lame. It is secured to the rear edge of the main plate of the thumb-defence by a brass-capped, round-headed rivet with a square, internal washer. The main plate is transversely curved and of lozenge shape with rounded corners and a truncated lower end where it overlaps three downward-overlapping scales of the same design as the finger-scales. Except at its lower end, the edges of the main plate have plain, inward turns. The thumb-scales have in each case torn away from the main plate. A modern, short-cuffed, buff-leather lining-glove is in each case sewn within the edges of the finger and thumb-defences. Part of the composite half-armour HEN.M.13-1933, from which they were removed on 24 March 1980, eventually to be assigned a separate number.


History note: Mr James Stewart Henderson of 'Abbotsford', Down Road, St Helen's Park, Hastings, Sussex.

Legal notes

J.S. Henderson Bequest

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1933-03-16) by Henderson, James Stewart


Late 16th Century
Production date: circa AD 1590


North Italian

The gauntlets are bright with a light, slightly mottled patination overall.

Components of the work

Rivets composed of brass (alloy) ( modern) iron (metal)
Lining-glove composed of leather ( modern)
Rivet Caps composed of brass (alloy)
Hinge composed of leather
Strips composed of leather
Left Gauntlet Depth 14.2 cm Height 29.9 cm Weight 0.38 kg Width 13.5 cm
Right Gauntlet Depth 14 cm Height 30.9 cm Weight 0.39 kg Width 13.8 cm
Cuff Border

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Each formed of a fairly short, flared, tubular cuff, four metacarpal-plates, a knuckle-plate, five scaled finger-defences, and a hinged thumb-defence of four scales; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped, and nicked decoration, and recessed borders

Identification numbers

Accession number: HEN.M.143-1933
Primary reference Number: 18641
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Wednesday 11 January 2023 Last processed: Wednesday 11 January 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

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