Object Title

Mail shirt

Mail shirt



Object Number



Purchased U.S. Army in 1957

Physical Description

It is constructed throughout of riveted rings. There is a shallow cut-out in the lower edge at the front and an extension of truncated triangular shape at the back intended to be brought foward between the legs and fastened at the front by laces. The links are closed by wedge-shaped rivets with rounded heads 1.84 mm in diameter.

Featured in

Hundred Years War


LinkDiameter12.37 mm
LinkDiameter9.33 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

In front are two flat brass rings inscribed in relief, one with the name of the maker BERTOLT VOR PARTE the other TO ISRENLOEN. A third brass ring by the right armpit was originally stamped with a group of three barely decipherable symbols three times repeated between small rosettes.

Bibliographic References

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

W. Reid and M. Burgess, 'A habergeon of Westwale', The Antiquaries Journal, 40, Jan-April 1960: 46-57


This is one of the finest mail shirts in existence which can be dated with certainty as early as the first half of the 15th century. The maker Bertolt vor Parte, one of the leading citizens of Iserlohn in Westphalia, is recorded in the town archives from the year 1391. He was dead by 1448 in which year reference is made in a document to his son and widow.