Object Title

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets



Object Number



Purchased 15 November 1985. From the Armoury at Littlecote House, AP44. Formerly Tower, sold Sotherby's, 18 June 1974, lot 67 with III.2072 and IV.912.

Physical Description

The breastplate has a medial keel terminating in a point at the waist, which dips down at the centre, and has a broad flange. The neck, arm and flange side edges have inward turns, and those at the neck and arms ar bordered by single incised lines. At either side of the chest is a plain swivel hook with a pierced stud outside. The tassets are each attached to the flange by two hinges, the hasps of which are pointed at the top and bottom. Each hasp is attached to the flange by modern screws, the lower one in a slot.

Each tasset is of one piece, embossed with six simulated lames, the lower one deeper than those above. The main edges have inward turs and sunken borders; the upper edges of the embossed lames have single incised lines. Each is decorated with three vertical rows of brass-headed rivets, one in each row at the top of each embossed lame, with two rivets on the lower embossed lame.


Dimensions: Breastplate, height 44.0 cm ( 17.4 in ), width 35.6 cm ( 14.1 in ), Right tasset, height 24.8 cm ( 9.8 in ), width 32.6 cm ( 12.9 in ), Left tasset, height 24.6 cm ( 9.7 in ), width 33.9 cm ( 13.4 in ) Weight: 3405 g (7 lb 8 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

The breastplate is stamped at the neck with a crowned IR for arsenal of James II, and W with crossed arms for the maker. The flange and each tasset is struck inside with a group of ten punched dots.

Bibliographic References

Sotherby's, The Contents of Littlecote House, vol.II, 22 November 1985, lot 215.