Object Title

Saddle steel

Saddle steel



Object Number



Old Tower Collection

Physical Description

For bow of saddle. Originally of three plates, the central plate missing. Each plate is pierced with an attachment hole. The steels are decorated with vertical sunken bands etched and formerly gilt with running foliage interspersed with animals, birds and classical figures. The upper and side edges are roped, with sunken borders whose decoration includes dogs in form similar to greyhounds or whippets.


Dimensions: Length of lower edge, right plate: 295 mm (11.6 in); Length of lower edge, left plate: 293 mm (11.5 in). Weight: kg ( 8.5 oz each)

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

John Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859: 41, vi.64

Harold, Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Armouries, Tower of London, London, 1910: 197, vi.121

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: arms and the man, Leeds, 2009,


Possibly the parcell gilt and graven steels in the Green Gallery at Greenwich, recorded as 'steeles for saddles viz one guitle and graven anoither parcell guilt and graven another of cutworke guilt in all iii' in Sir Thomas Jay's Remaine of the Armory of 1629 (SP Dom Chas I vol. 139 pt. 94). RC3: Royal Association to be noted on loan papers to the Royal Armouries Board of Trustees. See Claude Blair and Stuart W. Pyhrr 'The Wilton 'Montmorency' armour : an Italian armour for Henry VIII', Metropolitan Museum Journal 38 (2003), pp. 95-144 for the identification of the armour to which these belong.