Object Title

Breastplate

Breastplate

Date

1475-1485

Object Number

III.1283

Provenance

Purchased from the National Magazine Co. (William Randolph Hearst Collection) October 1952, with the help of the Pilgrim Trust, the National Art Collections Fund and a special Exchequer Grant. one of 52 items purchased together. From the collection of Lord Brougham and Vaux, Brougham Hall, Penrith, sold at Christies, 29 June 1933, part of lot 33, a composite Gothic armour

Physical Description

Made in two pieces, the upper breastplate with angular outward turns at the neck and arms and pierced for a lance rest, with a hole for a buckle at either shoulder. The lower breastplate has a medial ridge rising to a central point, the edges followed by a deep flute. The lower breastplate is joined to the upper by a large sliding rivet. The fauld was originally of three lames, the upper lame now missing. The lames are articulated by rivets in cusps at either side. The lower edge of the lower plate is arched at the centre and embossed with two curved ridges at either side. There is no provision for tassets. The side edge below the right arm was examined by Dr Alan Williams, revealing a microstructure of pearlite with a little ferrite, mostly in a band along one surface. There are also a small number of slag inclusions. The armour has been air cooled after fabrication from a sheet or bar of steel. The carbon content varies from 0.7% in the centre to about 0.4% near the surface.

Materials

Dimensions

Dimensions: Height: 563 mm; width: 355 mm; depth: 140 mm Weight: 2750 g ( 6 lb 1 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

no marks

Associations

Places Germany

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXI.

A. Williams, The Knight and the Blast Furnace, Leiden, 2003, 691.

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1

Notes

'Additions to the Armouries after 1916' says from Schloss Churburg (incorrectly). This formed part of the composite Gothic from Brougham Hall. Compare a very similar breastplate by Hans Vetterlein of Innsbruck, Munich Town Museum Z.837, and Churburg 28 by Christian Treytz, Innsbrucker Plattnerkunst, 57.