Object Title

Field armour

Field armour



Object Number



Purchased at auction from the Bernal Collection, Christie's, 5 March - 30 April 1855. The backplate was presented by Professor S. S. Arenal, Agricultural Attache to the Spanish Embassy, in December 1954

Physical Description

The helmet is an associated armet with a low, roped comb and a monkey-faced visor with two sights. The lower edge is hollow roped to turn on the gorget. The gorget has three lames front and rear and laminated extensions over the shoulders. The breastplate is globose with a central ridge, the upper edge and lower edges of the tassets heavily roped. It has a waistplate, fauld and tassets of three lames, and a hinged lance rest. .The backplate is associated, and the culet restored. The right pauldron has a cut-out at the armpit, and both pauldrons have large haut pieces. The vambraces have large bracelet couters. The associated gauntlets are fingered with slightly pointed cuffs, and are not a pair. The cuisses are formed of a main plate with a boldly roped upper edge, with a extension plate above articulated by sliding rivets and leathers. The poleyns have large fan-shaped wings. The greaves widens at the heels and have slots for spurs. The sabatons are broad toed. All the main edges except on the greaves and armet have double recessed borders and boxed turns. The subsidiary edges are engrailed. The armour is homogeneous except for the armet, backplate and gauntlets.


Weight: 67 lb 4 oz

Inscriptions and Marks

The Nuremberg mark is stamped on the gorget, pauldrons, left cuisse and right greave. A pearled Gothic N is stamped on the inside of all main plates.


Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate XVII.


The Bernal backplate was sold at auction Sotheby's 15 October 1974 lot 28. The backplate from Prof. Arenal was exchanged for another backplate appropriate to an armour he had purchased at Sotheby's November 1954 lot 77. The close helmet illustrated in ffoulkes 1916 pl. II is now IV.21, and appears to have been swapped for the armet published as IV.21 in ffoulkes (p. 175, incorrectly labelled IV.23). This in turn was published in Grose 1788 pl. 3 and 6.