Object Title

Portions of an armour

Portions of an armour



Object Number



Purchased at auction, Oxenham's, London, 29 April 1841, lot 253.

Physical Description

Consists of a gorget, vambraces, tassets, a waistplate from the cuirass and two plates from the gauntlet cuffs. The gorget has a main plate front and back with two articulated lames above, the main plate at the back being a restoration. Although resembling the other piece it may be from a different though similar armour. The arms have pauldrons of five lames, the topmost pierced for a sprocket pin; large couters in a single piece attached by leathers and a sprocket pin to the rere- and vambraces and by laces to the arming doublet and vambraces of normal construction. Tassets of six lames fitting closely to the thigh. Waistplate of a single lame. The gauntlet cuffs are short and probably had extensions at the wrist. The pieces are decorated with embossed horizontal bands on which are S shaped recessings etched and gilt with a leaf pattern, the plain surfaces between the embossed bands being etched with stylised floral ornament inspired by damasked material.


Gilding, Etching, Embossed



GorgetDepth260 mm
GorgetHeight150 mm
GorgetWeight793 g
GorgetWidth330 mm
Right cuisseLength335 mm
Right cuisseWeight800 g
Right cuisseWidth215 mm
Left cuisseLength340 mm
Left cuisseWeight820 g
Left cuisseWidth219 mm
Waist lameLength380 mm
Waist lameWeight240 g
Right vambraceLength655 mm
Right vambraceWeight1600 g
Right vambraceWidth205 mm
Left vambraceLength655 mm
Left vambraceWeight1700 g
Left vambraceWidth205 mm
CuffsWeight57 g

Inscriptions and Marks

None visible.


Bibliographic References

John Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859: 20, no. iii.23

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXXVIII, CXXIX.

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1


See also III.4483. Advertised in the sale catalogue as 'Portions of a very superb suite of puffed and engraved armour, comprising the two arms and tassets complete, the gorget and portion of a gauntlet, with the exception of the splendid suite at Goodrich Court, this is the only example of this rare and beautiful kind in this country'. Although previously considered to have been made by Kolman Helmschmeid, the decoration is clearly that of Innsbruck rather than Augsburg and may be compared to that on the child's armour of Charles V (A.109) and the armour of Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg (A.244) both by Konrad Seusenhofer and today in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna. The decoration is extremely close to Wallace Collection no. A 28.