Object Title

Half armour

Half armour

Date

1600

Object Number

II.127

Provenance

Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Comprising a burgonet, gorget, breastplate, tassets, backplate and spaudlers.


The burgonet has a two-piece skull joined in a high comb and riveted on the short neckguard and curved, pointed peak. There are cheekpieces attached by hinges at either side, with curved inner edges and tapering flanges continuing the line of the neckguard at the lower edge. The main edges have plain inward turns with raised borders. These and the comb and broad raised bands at either side of the skull are bright, the recessed areas retaining their original black from the hammer finish. The base of the skull retains all its original flush lining rivets, of which all four at the rear and two out of six at the front retain their original copper alloy rosette washers. The right cheekpiece hinge is attached by a single modern rivet, another similar filling the vacant hole in the cheekpiece, suggesting that it is associated. There is a suspension hole at the rear of the neckguard, and damage at the front of the peak.


The gorget is of one plate front and rear, with a raised neck, a rounded point at the front and a flat point at the rear. The plates are joined by the original rivet at the left and fastened by an original stud and keyhole slot at the right. The neck edges have plain inward turns, the outer edges partial inward turns, and these and the broad flaring raised medial bands are bright, with incised chevrons at the centre front and rear. The recessed areas retain their original black from the hammer finish. At either side of the neck on the rear plate is a modern strap. Adjacent to these are two additional holes from former straps at either side. In addition there is a flush rivet at the left side retaining a fragment of leather, perhaps for reinforcing the pivot rivet. There are punch marks at either corner marking the angles of the embossed edges.


The breastplate has a low neck, a medial ridge ending an a slight peascod and a flange with a flattened centre at the waist. The neck and arm edges have plain inward turns with raised, lobed borders, and these and three broad raised bands are bright. The recessed areas retain their original black from the hammer finish. The flange has six modern straps for the tassets, the central one at either side on one rivet, the outer ones on two. Old buckles with simple file decoration on their loops are fitted by modern hasps and rivets at either shoulder. The interior is quite roughly planished.


The backplate has a low neck and a medium flange at the waist. The neck, arm and flange edges have plain inward turns, the neck and arm with raised, lobed borders, and these and three broad raised bands, the outer ones curved, are bright. The recessed areas retain their original black from the hammer finish. Modern straps are fitted at the shoulders and at either side of the waist.


The right spaudler is of six lames overlapping downwards. These are articulated by modern sliding rivets at the rear, and by modern leathers at the centre and front, the line of the front one followed by a line of original round headed decorative rivets. The neck and lower edges have plain inward turns, all main edges have raised borders with lobes, and these and the broad raised band down the centre are bright. The recessed areas retain their original black from the hammer finish. At the bottom is the original iron buckle and a modern strap, at the top a modern buckle.


The left spaudler is rather smaller than the right, of six lames overlapping downwards. These are articulated by modern sliding rivets at the rear, and by modern leathers at the centre and front, the line of the front one followed by a line of original round headed decorative rivets. The neck and lower edges have plain inward turns, all main edges have raised borders parallel to the edges, and these and the broad raised band down the centre are bright. The recessed areas retaining their original black from the hammer finish. At the bottom is the original iron buckle, re-riveted, and a modern strap, at the top the original buckle. There are riveted repairs inside the centre of the lowest lame and at the front end of the next one up.


The tassets are of 6 lames overlapping upwards, articulated by modern rivets at either end and by modern leathers at the centre. The top lames have three buckles each, all of plain iron figure 8 form, the centre ones apparently still attached by their original round headed rivets, the outer ones with a variety of rivets and rather thin iron hasps, appearing like working life repairs. The lower edges have plain inward turns, the side edges partial inward turns, all with raised borders lobed on the lower edge, and these and the raised central bands are bright. The recessed areas retaining their original black from the hammer finish. The subsidiary edges have bright, file-hatched bevels.

Dimensions

Dimensions: burgonet 1230 g, gorget 715 g, breastplate 2410 g, backplate 2290 g, right spaudler 700 g, left spaudler 560 g, right tasset 715 g, left tasset 710 g, total 9330 g Weight: burgonet height 282 mm, width 220 mm, depth 230 mm; gorget height 138 mm, width 292 mm, depth 260 mm; breastplate height 460 mm, width 365 mm; backplate height 355 mm, width 373 mm; right spaudler height 360 mm, width 212 mm; left spaudler height 335 mm, width 200 mm; right tasset height 252 mm, width 275 mm; left tasset height 275 mm, width 307 mm

Inscriptions and Marks

The gorget has a construction mark of IIII front and rear, and the painted numbers 86/2 and 37 (more crudely). The breastplate has a construction mark of 4 wedges inside, and is painted 84/3 and 37 (more crudely, possibly an older arsenal number. The backplate has no visible construction mark, and is painted 83/4 and 25 (more crudely, again like an old arsenal number). The right spaudler has a construction mark of 3 wedges on each lame, and is painted inside 84/5. The left spaudler has a construction mark of IIIIII inside each lame. Each tasset lame has a construction mark of 3 wedges inside.

Associations

Places Germany

Notes

This is a slightly composite armour, all of [pieces from the same source, date and series, but with detail differences. The breastplate, tassets and right spaudlr actually belong together. The armour was releathered in the Armouries workshop, most likely by Ted Smith, in the 1970s or thereabouts. Other armours of this series are II.34, II.35 and II.128.