Object Title

Long elbow gauntlet

Long elbow gauntlet



Object Number



Purchased 15 November 1985. From the Armoury at Littlecote House, AP.43. Acquired by Sir Seton Wills, about 1970

Physical Description

Comprising a cuff of two pieces, a wrist lame, five metacarpal lames and a knuckle lame. The cuff has a deep bulge on the outside and is angled at the top, with a rounded point over the elbow. A medial keel runs the full length. The main edge is flanged, with an inward turn, and bordered by twenty lining rivets with square internal washers retaining fragments of lining band. The inside edge at the wrist has a cusp at either side, with a rivet, by which the separate wrist piece is articulated. The lower edge of this plate is concave, rising to a convex bulge at the thumb. Its main edge has an inward turn with a sunken border and lining rivets. The wrist plate is decorated with a single transverse incised line.

The upper three metacarpal lames are narrow, and articulated by a rivet in a cusp at each side. The fourth has an extension at the front with two rivets for the thumb-piece, and the fifthe is deeper, with a cut-away at the inside. The knuckle lame is embossed for the knuckles and has an articulating lobe at either side of the upper edge for a rivet. At the lower edge are four rivets for the attachment of finger leathers. All the subsidiary edges are bordered by single incised lines, except on the knuckle lame.



GauntletLength465 mm
GauntletWeight1300 g

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

Sotheby's The Contents of Littlecote House, vol.II, 22 November 1985, lot 178. Spreadbury, P.A., Littlecote, London, 1979, p.16.


Difficult to date, bridle gauntlets were only worn in limited numbers during the Civil Wars of c.1639-1653. During the second half of the 17th century they do not appear to have been standard issue but were purchased by the individual cavalryman. Usually only worn on the left arm, the bridle gauntlet provided the arm with held the horse's reins.
In 1985 this gauntlet was located on a cupboard in one of the bedrooms at Littlecote House, Wiltshire.