Object Title

Cuirass

Cuirass

Date

1671-1699

Object Number

XXVIA.164

Provenance

Purchased 10 June 1986.

Physical Description

This armour is in the form of a broad belt of twelve hinged steel plates, the upper edge rising to a point at the centre of the back, a lower point at the chest, and dipping down at either arm. It is fastened at the front.
Each plate is rounded to the body, and bordered on each side by a steel border. The borders at the lower and upper edges have scalloped internal edges, with a pierce hole between each scallop which passes right through, for the attachment of a lining. The borders of the vertical edges are turned inside, forming the hinges: The plate to the right of the front opening has a turn for the central 19.6 cm of it's height, with cut-outs 4 cm in length at the top and bottom; the left edge of the adjacent plate has it's border turned inside only at the lower and upper 4cm sections. The internal edges of the vertical strips, inside and out, are cut with scallops with central points, and on the outside only punched with a dot between each scallop. Through each hinge a long pin, with an onion shaped head, is inserted. Each vertical border is attached by a full flush rivets, and each lower one by two.
The front plate is fitted with four hasps in the form of 'khalgi', asymmetrical feathers, with scalloped and punched edges. The long section towards the opening is turned over, and fitted with a plain butted iron hoop for a lace or set of laces. Each hasp is attached by two flush rivets. The upper loop on the right retains a fragment of a leather strap.
The two plates at either side of the front, and the two plates at either side of the central rear plate, are fitted with plain iron buckles on cusped hasps, for the fastening of a pair of shoulder straps, or more probably, a single shoulder strap with bifurcated terminals, at either side. The exterior is bright but patinated, the inside black from the hammer. edges

Dimensions

Dimensions: Height at front: 32.0 cm (12.5 in), Height at rear: 37.2 cm (14.6 in), Height at arms: 25.0 cm (10.8 in), Circumference: 95.2 cm (37.5 in), Weight: 71 lb 1 oz (3.195 kg)

Associations

Notes

Cuirasses of this type are usually found in fabric or hide ('peti', eg. XXVIA.139) from seringapatam, and Victoria and Albert Museum from Indore, W. Egerton, 'an illustrated handbook of indian arms', London, 1880, no.573, fig.29, p.120.), and appear to be connected with the ancient type of segmented cuirass which appears on the reliefs at Sanchi (about 100 AD.). Comparable examples also appear in Persia, thougbh usually of fewer plates, and probably as precursors of the 'chahar aineh' (Victoria and Albert Museum, 635-1876, of six plates;national museum, Cracow, in R.Elgood, Ed., 'Islamic arms and armour', London, 1979, pl. 233-6, of four plates; G.C. stone, 'a glossary of the construction, decoration and use of arms and armour', Portland, 1934, fig. 840, p.657.