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Leg-defence: M.9-1945

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Object information

Current Location: In storage


Production: Unknown




Defence for the left foreleg of a horse, for heavy cavalry use, forming a pair or near pair to M.14-1947. Formed of twelve downward-overlapping lames curved to the front of the horse's upper foreleg and shoulder, and increasing in width to its upper end. The upper edge of the top lame is slightly convex with gently rounded corners. It has a file-roped inward turn accompanied by a recessed border containing nine holes for lining-rivets, of which six are occupied by externally-flush rivets. The lower edge of the bottom lame also has a file-roped inward turn. The outer ends of the lame on each are fitted with externally-flush rivets that formerly served to secure a strap around the rear of the horse's leg. The first to eleventh lames have bevelled outer edges. The lames are connected to one another at their outer ends by externally-flush sliding-rivets. The lames were further connected to one another by a pair of internal leathers located a short distance within the sliding-rivets. The leathers were attached to each lame by single externally-flush rivets. The rivets for the outer leather are preserved in the ninth to twelfth lames, and for the inner leather, in the eighth and ninth lames.


History note: From the armoury of the Princes Radziwill, Castle of Niescwiez, Poland. To save the armoury from the Bolshevist uprising, the Lithuanian family of Radziwill moved it to their town-house in Warsaw. According to the London dealers Fenton and Furmage, the collection was acquired by the Austrian Dealers Pollak and Windonitz just before the First World War. Some pieces were sold in Germany, but most were offered for sale at Christie's, London, on 29 June 1926 and 14 June 1927 as the armoury of a `Russian Prince'.

Legal notes

Given by F.H. Cripps-Day

Measurements and weight

Depth: 22.1 cm
Height: 25.5 cm
Weight: 1.02 kg
Width: 29.1 cm

Acquisition and important dates

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


15th Century, Mid#
Production date: circa AD 1550


Similar leg-defences for a horse are depicted in Hans Burkmeier's Triumph of Maximilian.

The leg-defence has a ' black from the hammer' finish, now much worn, particularly at the centre of its lower half.

Components of the work


Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Hammered : Formed of twelve downward-overlapping lames curved to the front of the horse's upper foreleg and shoulder, and increasing in width to its upper end; hammered, shaped, riveted, with file-roped, recessed border and bevelled decoration

Inscription or legends present

Inscription present: large

  • Text: 37
  • Location: Internally
  • Method of creation: Painted in red
  • Type: Number

Inscription present: parchment tag

  • Text: CRIPPS-DAY/112/Horse leg piece
  • Method of creation: Inscribed
  • Type: Tag

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.9-1945
Primary reference Number: 18663
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Thursday 9 September 2021 Last processed: Thursday 7 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

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

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Leg-defence" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-16 03:29:53

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