Object Title

Left pauldron

Left pauldron



Object Number



Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery, Woolwich, 1927. From Rhodes, acquired by Sir J. Lefroy 1867.

Physical Description

Formed of four deep lames which extend well over the chest and shoulder, and overlap upwards.
The main plate is deep, square at the ends and embossed with a slight medial ridge. Near the upper edge is riveted an iron stop-rib, formed of a bar of rectangular section struck with swellings and pierced at the four points of attachment. The two inner rivets have flat internal heads stamped with rosettes. The lower edge is slightly rounded over the arm, and cut at either side with a slot for the restored sliding rivet on the lame below. The lower lame is of a similar shape. Its lower edge has a boxed outward turn, and it is fitted with a restored transverse buckle and strap encircling the arm.

Above the main plate are two lames. The upper is a modern restoration, with an angular turned edge and pierced leather at the centre for an arming point. The lower is original, and articulated to the main plate and upper plate by rivets at the ends, stamped like those of the main plate. The upper edge of the lower plate is damaged at either side of the ridge, and has modern riveted repairs. Formed of four deep lames which extend well over the chest and shoulder, and overlap upwards.

Featured in

Hundred Years War


Dimensions: Length: 305 mm; width: 262 mm; depth: 200 mm Weight: 1.8 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

To the rear of the stop rib is stamped a maker's mark, B, with another illegible letter. The rear edges of the three lower lames are each marked with five V-shaped nicks. There is no Rotunda number.


Bibliographic References

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1873 p.140, MA 2357

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889, p. 150, no. 16/272

C ffoulkes, 'Armour from the Rotunda, Woolwich, Transferred to the Armouries of the Tower, 1927' Archaeologia LXXVII 1927: 61-72 pl. XIV, fig. 2.

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 7.1


Two versions of a maker's mark comprising the letter B appear on brigandine plates from Chalkis in the Metropolitan Museum, nos 29.150.90c, d, m, q, t and ff. A very similar B, in combination with BC (or BE) crowned, appear on the pauldrons of the 'Avant' armour attributed to Bellino Corio, Glasgow Museum and Art Gallery no. '39-65e (Boccia 1982: 282, no. 5, pl. 46-7). These pauldrons are very similar to iii.1123, though in the left the lower two lames are combined as one deep lame, and both are fitted with gardbraces.

Similar pauldrons are depicted in Il Torneo-Battaglia di Louverzep by Pisanello, about 1438-40 in the Ducal Palace, Mantua, (Boccia, Rossi & Morin 1979: pl. 40-4) and also the same artist's Saint George of 1438 in the National Gallery, London (Laking 1920 I: 189, fig. 222); in the 'Nine Worthies' in the anonymous Paduan sketchbook in the Camera delle Stampe, Rome (Mann 1930: pl. xxiv-xxvi.1); those worn by Bellerophon in Bellini's drawing in the Louvre (Boston 1916: B324); those of slightly later date, depicted in the salver Triumph of Fame, commemorating the birth of Lorenzo de' Medici, about 1449, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Pope-Hennesey & Christianson 1980: 11, no. 6; formerly in the New-York Historical Society, and on long-term loan the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this was to have been included in Sotheby's 1995, but was purchased by the museum prior to the sale); in Uccello's Battle [Rout] of San Romano, about 1436-40; and slightly earlier in date, the effigy of Giovanni Cose, about 1425 (Martin 1968: pl. 99).

Metallurgy: This was examined on the 'circumstantial rim' (sic) of the pauldron; in this section two corrosion cracks had opened up in the plane of the plate. One of the large two visible is surrounded by numerous ferrite grains, suggesting that they are the result of a folding and forge-welding process inefficiently performed. The principal microconstituent of this piece is pearlite. The carbon content is variable, with bands ranging from between 0.2% to 0.7%. A little slag is also present. No attempt at hardening this piece by quenching has been made.