Object Title

Buff coat

Buff coat


about 1650

Object Number



From the Armoury at Littlecote House. Purchased 15/11/1985.

Physical Description

The body is made in four panels, each with a broad, flaring skirt. The front edges are pierced with twenty-two eyelet holes at either side, of which six are more widely spaced than the others and extend down the skirt. The original laces are threaded down either side to give a chevron pattern when closed, and tying at the neck and waist. At the neck is a low, standing collar mad in two pieces and pierced with two holes for buttons on cords at the right and teo for cord loops on the left. Each full length sleeve is made in two pieces. At the front of each cuff is an opening 7.5 cm in length. The buff leather is stained bright yellow ochre, everywhere except beneath the lining. Over this series of buff coats it varies in thickness between 1.5 and 5.5 mm with a mean of about 3.5mm. All the seams are butt-sewn and the edges plain. The body, above the waist, and sleeves were lined with linen, and the body with an interlining of coarse canvas. None of the lining survives. The front opening was fastened by eight pairs of hooks and eyes, attached to the lining. The seam of the left sleeve is open at the shoulder.



CoatHeight955 mm
CoatWeight2700 g
CoatWidth480 mm
CoatWidth940 mm
SleeveLength580 mm
SkirtWidth555 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

LH in ink
at the rear of the right shoulder

Bibliographic References

Sotherby's The Contents of Littlecote House, vol.II, 22 November 1985, lot 146.

Richardson, T., 'The Buff Coats at Littlecote House', Arms Collecting, vol.XXVI No.1, Feb. 1988, fig.3.


One of a group of thirty-four Commonwealth era buff coats of c.1650 date. Possibly made for the Cromwellian campaigns in Ireland and Scotland. Buff coats could either be worn on their own or supplemented with breast and backplates. The body of each of these coats is made from four panels of leather, each with a broad flaring skirt. The sleeves are made of two pieces of leather, sometimes with extra pieces at the cuff. The collar was attached seperately and was made of one or two pieces of leather. The front opening of the coats were fastened together using a series of hooks and eyes, with decorative laces threaded spirally down either side.