Object Title

Siege armour

Siege armour



Object Number



Purchased 15 November 1985. From the Armoury at Littlecote House, A.7. From the collection of the Countess of Craven at Coombe Abbey, sold Christie's 22 April 1922 lot 88, collection of Dr R Williams, sold Sotheby's 18 June 1974 lot 21, purchased by Sir Seton Wills.

Physical Description

Comprising helmet, breast and backplate, and two tassets. The skull of the pot is made in two pieces joined in a flat, riveted seam, decorated with two incised lines. The neckguard is narrow and gutter shaped, with a medial point, and is attacked to the skull by a rivet at either side. The peak is angular, with a medial point, has a deep, level flange extended at either temple where it is pivoted to the skull and a triple bar faceguard of very deep form. At either side of the skull is attached a shoulder stand formed of a concave curved strip that sits on the shoulder attached to two rectangular bars each with a spatulate terminal riveted to the skull. The main edge of the skull is plain and originally bordered by ten lining rivets, all now missing, while that of the peak has a plain inward turn with a recessed border. The breastplate has a raised neck, medial ridge and a narrow flange at the waist. The neck and arm edges have plain inward turns. At either arm is a flat mushroom headed stud for the shoulder straps. At either side of the waist is a rivet hole for a staple, now lost, and a modern strap is riveted to the lower one. Each tasset is of one piece, square and of curved section, with a flange at the main edges except for the inside right edge, which has an outward turn. The upper edge of each has an inward flange, and each tasset is attached to the flange of the breastplate by three leathers. The backplate has a raised neck and a narrow flange at the waist. The main edges have plain inward turns. At either shoulder is a short leather shoulder strap covered with two scales and with a terminal pierced with a keyhole slot. At either side of the waist is the terminal of a replacement waist strap.


Dimensions: pot skull height 242 mm, width 190 mm, faceguard height 320 mm, overall height 460 mm; breastplate height 420 mm, width 358 mm; tasset height 270 mm, width 335 mm; backplate height 418 mm, width 360 mm Weight: breastplate 7150 g, backplate 2270 g, pot

Inscriptions and Marks

The pot is stamped TC. The breastplate stamped with a large circular mark, helmeted A and a cross of St George.


Places England

Bibliographic References

Richardson 2004a: 34


The Royal Armouries collection includes another example, also from Coombe Abbey, no. II.138, presented by F H Cripps-Day, and there is another helmet of the same type in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (ffoulkes 1912: no. 183, pl. XVIII). Thomas Carpenter was Master of the London Armourers Company in 1664 and still making armours in 1678 (Richardson 2004a: 34)