Object Title

Buff coat

Buff coat



Object Number

III.1956 A


Purchased 15 November 1985. From the Armoury at Littlecote House, no. BC.33.

Physical Description

The body is made of four pieces, with an additional gusset under each arm, and with four separate flaring skirts. the front edges are pierced with fifteen eyelet holes at either side, with a modern silk cord wound through spirally. The side seams of the skirt are sewn together, and open for 9.5 cm only at the bottom. At either side of the waist at the front and rear are sewn four belt loops. At the neck is a low, outer collar of two pieces, and a high, inner collar of two pieces, with five, modern cord loops at the left, and five wooden buttons, possibly original, on modern cords at the right.

Each sleeve is of two pieces and full length. The rear seam is open at the cuff for 21.5cm, and fastened by four spherical wooden buttons with button holes. The sleeves are covered to the elbows by outer sleeves, each of two pieces.

Around the waist is a buff leather belt, pierced with fifteen holes for fastening; the buckle is lost. It is mounted with two plain iron sliding loops, with small rings at their bases for the suspension of a sword hanger. The buff leather is stained yellow ochre. All the edges are plain except those of the inner sleeves, which are bound with fine leather. All the seams are butt-sewn.

The body above the waist and sleeves are fitted with a modern lining of cream taffeta, which extends inside the collar and overlaps it at the top. Evidence of the original fastening of the coat by hooks and eyes inside the lining is thus lost. Inside the waist is a band fitted with iron eyes intended to engage hooks on the breeches.


Dimensions: Height - front 73.5 cm ( 29.0 in ), - rear 76.2 cm ( 30.1 in ), neck to waist, front 33.5 cm ( 13.2 in ), rear 38.5 cm ( 15.2 in ), width at armpit 47.0 cm ( 18.6 in ), width at hem 79.0 cm ( 31.2 in ), width of each skirt 45.2 cm ( 17.8 in ), sleeve, outside length 64.0 cm ( 25.3 in ), outer sleeve length 36.5 cm ( 14.4 in ) Weight: (Not removed from stand) 4.025 kg ( 9 lb 1 oz ) (includes right gauntlet and hand (210g (7 oz ))

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

Sotheby's, The Contents of Littlecote House, vol.II, 22 November 1985, lot 41 (col pl.); P.A. Spreadbury, Littlecote, London, 1979. p5.


This buff coat is traditionally associated with the cuirass III.1957-8 and gloves as the armour of Col. Alexander Popham. It is comparable in form to that shown in the portrait attributed to Mirevelt of Col. Nathaniel Fiennes