Object Title

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets



Object Number



Tower arsenal. Part of loan 199 to the National Portrait Gallery April 1968 to April 1986.

Physical Description

The breastplate has a medial keel terminating in a point, the waist dipping down at the centre, and a broad flange. The arm and neck edges are inwardly turned, and bordered by a single incised line. The flange side edges are inwardly turned and accompanied by a sunken border. At either side of the chest is a plain swivel-hook inside a pierced stud for fastening the shoulder straps. The tassets are attached to the flange by two hinges, the hasps pointed at top and bottom.

The tassets are each of one piece, embossed to simulate seven lames, the lower deeper than those above. The main edges are inwardly turned and accompanied by a sunken border. The lower inside corners are squared whilst the outer are rounded. They are decorated with three vertical lines of rivets, with one at the top of each simulated lame, lozenges of four rivets on the lower lame. The subsidiary edges are bordered by single incised lines. The inner edge of the right tasset is cut away at the top to facilitate overlapping. Deep Brown patina and has been blued and lacquered.


Dimensions: Breastplate., Height: 42.2 cm ( 16.6 in), Width: 34.7 cm ( 13.7 in), Tassets., Height inside: 25.8 cm ( 10.1 in), Height outside: 27.6 cm ( 10.9 in), Width: 35.0 cm ( 13.8 in) Weight: 4.05 kg ( 8 lb 9 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped at the neck with a crowned IR, and a C for the maker. Inside the left shoulder are punched five dots.


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