Object Title

Right pauldron

Right pauldron



Object Number



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

Physical Description

Composed of five lames, all overlapping upwards. It has a cut out at the armpit, and extends just beyond the shoulder blade at the rear, where it has a symmetrically curved edge.

The main lame is drawn up at the front in a low, arched flange with inwardly turned edge, forming a rudimentary haute-piece. There is a low, vertical, medial ridge, continued on the lames above and below, being most pronounced on the main lame. There is slight indication, almost corroded away, of an embossed rib bordering the front and rear edges of the main lame and the two below.

The two upper lames are pointed at the front and rear, widening at the centre. The two lames below the main lame are almost parallel, the main and lowest lames being the deepest. The latter is cut away at the armpit.

All the lames are articulated by sliding rivets at the front and rear, with lobes for the slots, and by a modern central leather on the main lame and those below. At the centre of the upper lame are a pair of holes for arming points. At either end of the lower lame are riveted fragments of the lost leather strap and buckle.

The rear point of the lower lame is broken away. A possible pair of holes for the upper terminal of the internal leather survive as broken-out gaps in the lower edge of the lame above the main lame. The original rivets with flat circular heads, stamped with a star with raised circles between the arms, within a border of pellets, survive, except on the lame below the mainplate and on the front of the lame above this.


Dimensions: height 276 mm, width 270 mm, depth 160 mm Weight: 510 g

Inscriptions and Marks

The main lame is struck at the rear with an upward pointing triangle of three maker's marks. The upper one comprises a pendant hunting horn ( or twisted knot) beneath a cornet with three fleurons. The lower two are composed of Gothic unicls AN surmounted by the same hunting horn. The lower edge of each lame, at teh rear is marked with a single V-shaped nick.At the rear of the lower lame is stamped the Rotunda number MA 2355.


Bibliographic References

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1873: 140, MA 2355

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889: 150, no. 16/270

P Tudor-Craig, Richard III, London, National Portrait Gallery, 1973: 76, No.202.

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 7.6


The marks have been attributed to Antonio Missaglia after 1452. Other pieces bearing the marks include the armour of Ulrich IX of Matsch, Churburg 19 (Trapp & Mann 1929: pl. xx, mark 18; Boccia 1982: 282); the same combination as ours appears on the visor of a sallet from the Pauilhac collection in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris (de Cosson dictionary, RA Library); under a split cross with retrograde N on the armour of Friedrich I der Siegreiche (1425-76) in the Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna, no. A2 (Thomas & Gamber 1976: 56-8, figs 20-1); a breastplate from Chalkis in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 29.150.99 (Boccia 1982: 282); a composite armour, perhaps only the Venetian-style sallet from the Baron Vidal de Léry and Bashford Dean collections (Dean 1911: no. 6; American Art Association 1921: lot 316). A Roman 'm' beneath what may be the hunting-horn device is found on the upper half of the turner of a right vambrace of possibly Flemish or Italian origin, about 1510-15, in the Higgins Armory Museum, no. 935, a composite armour formerly in the Dean collection.

Metallurgy: This is a low-carbon steel. The microstructure contains ferrite and areas of coarse, partly divorced, pearlite (perhaps 0.4% carbon) with some elongated slag inclusions. During or after fabrication, the steel has been raised to a high temperature and the allowed to cool slowly, or annealed.