Object Title

Breastplate and tassets

Breastplate and tassets

Date

1640

Object Number

II.280

Provenance

Old Tower stock.

Physical Description

Of short waisted form, with cut-out at the neck, narrow shoulders, a medial ridge and a deep flange at the waist. The edges of the neck and arm openings and of the waist flange have plain inward turns. The neck and arm openings are bordered by single incised line decoration, now much worn. The sides of the waist flange have recessed borders, and there is also a central simulated vertical turned edge accomapnied by a recessed border, set with a flattened brass rivet. At either side of the chest is a plain swivel-hook fitted with an internal square washer, which engages a pierced stud to the outside of it that originally held the shoulder straps from the backplate.
Each tasset is attached to the flange by two hinges, the hasps pointed at the bottom and rounded at the top, being attached to the flange by a large domed rivet on the upper hasp and to the tasset by two smaller rivets vertically alighned on the lower hasp. The outside right upper hasp has a large internal rectangular washer. On both tassets the outside hasp rivets are secured by internal square washers, the inside hasp by an internal square washer on the upper rivet only. Visible on the inner side of the left tasset are two earlier rivet holes near each hasp, and similarly on the right tasset, one additional hole. The tassets are each of one piece, the main edges of which have inward turns accompanied by a recessed border set with flattened domed brass lining rivets, 13 on the left tasset and 15 on the right. The upper right corner of the right tasset is cut obliquely for the passage of the left tasset. Each tasset is embossed to simulate 7 lames, the lowest being deeper than the rest. Each simulated lame is bordered by single incised line decoration. Each lame is bordered at the incised line by a decorative domed brass rivet at the centre and at each side, forming 3 columns which terminate at the sixth lame in a triangular pattern of 3 rivets. Additionally the 3rd simulated lame below each hasp has a single similar rivet.
The outer side is bright, the inner rough from the hammer. The top of the inside edge of the left tasset has broken out slightly, and has a rectangular repair plate on the inner side secured by two rivets. The inside edge of the right tasset has also broken out slightly, and there are minor cracks around the edges of both tassets.

Dimensions

BreastplateHeight410mm

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped below the centre of the neck with Io and, to its right, a crowned IR. On the right inner side of the waist-flange there are 3 wedge-shaped construction marks next to several short straight incised lines. On the inner side of the left tasset the first lame is incised with a cross and A, and has 3 wedge-shaped construction marks at the upper edge. On the inner side of the right tasset the first lame also has a number of incised lines.

Associations

Places England