Object Title

Mail and plate coat (zereh bagtar)

Mail and plate coat (zereh bagtar)



Object Number



Acquired before 1859

Physical Description

The coat is long-sleeved and collarless, opening down the front and fitted with a deep skirt split up the centre rear.
The mail is reinforced by plates at the chest, sides and back. At either side of the chest is a large, curved rectangular plate, bordered on all four sides by close-set holes for mail. Four plain, D-shaped loops are fitted, each attached to a long, spearhead-shaped hasp attached to the plate by two rivets, and embellished with a long, rounded ridge. At either arm is a pair of tall, thin plates, attenuated towards the top with a shallow cut towards the seam on either plate. The back is formed of three columns of shallow, rectangular plates, narrowing towards the bottom and extending to the shoulder, overlapping downwards. There are forty-one plates at the right and centre, and thirty-seven at the left rear. The plates of the central column are indented for the spine at the centre, and the lower edge of each is cut into a large cusp at either side of the centre, and a small cusp towards either end. Each set of plates is joined by three columns of mail to its neighbour, except under the arms where eighteen rows are used at the base, expanding to horizontal rows at the armpits.

The mail is composed of several different types. At either side of the chest is a panel of very heavy mail, type A: composed of alternate rows of riveted and welded mail. These links are circular and are made of kite-shaped section wire. Three rows of the same type are fitted at the front opening, on the main plates. The sleeves are made of alternate rows of riveted and welded circular links, formed of kite-shaped section wire. Type B: The plates are joined by rows of large circular links, alternatively riveted and welded, of either circular or oval section, type C: the same type appearing under the arms. The skirt is formed of small circular links with alternate rows riveted and welded of kite shape section wire. The coat is homogeneous, but greatly damaged and restored. The plate at the back of either arm is cracked at the centre and at the right with an early riveted repair. Of the plates in the right rear row, nos. 12-14, 18-22, 31-2 and 38-9 are modern; nos. 1-11, 22-4, 27-9, 36-9 of the central row; and 12-13 of the rear left are modern. Much of the mail is damaged, particularly abutting the plates, where butted links have been inserted.


Dimensions: Overall height: 67.5 cm (38.5 in), Shoulder-waist, rear: 51.0 cm (20.0 in), Sleeve length: 71.0 cm (28.0 in), Chest width: 57.0 cm (22.5 in), Chest size 97 cm (38 in), Mail: outside diameter, inside diameter: Type A: 12.8 mm, 8.3 mm Type B: 10.0 mm, 6.1 mm Type C: 11.5 mm, 8.6 mm Type D: 8.3 mm, 6.4mm Weight: 10.8 kg (23 lb 11 0z)

Inscriptions and Marks



Bibliographic References

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.388, p.110.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.432, p.40.