Object Title

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets



Object Number



Tower arsenal. Returned from loan to Dover Castle 1989. Associated with III.3403,3405 and IV.1581.

Physical Description

The breastplate has a low neck and a medial keel terminating in a point at the wasit, which dips down to the centre and has a deep flange. The neck, arm and flange side edges have plain inward turns, bordered by single incised lines at the neck and amrs and with recessed borders at the flange sides. At either side of the chest is a plain iron swivel hook engaging a pierced stud towards the arm edge for the shoulder straps.
Each tasset is made in one piece, embossed to simulate six lames, the lowest one deep. The left tasset overlaps the right. The side and lower edges have plain inward turns with recessed borders. The upper edges of the simulated lames are bordered by single incised lines. Each tasset is decorated with three columns of round-headed rivets, terminating in upward pointing triangles of three rivets at the top of the lower 'lame.' Each tasset is permanently attached to the flange of the breastplate by a pair of hinged hasps, pointed at the top and bottom, and fastened by two rivets to the tasset and one to the breastplate. The lower rivet of each inner hasp has a square washer and works in a rectangular slot. The upper inside corner of the right tasset is cropped to aid the overlap.
The outside is bright but patinated. There are pierced construction holes at either armpit and at the lower inside corner of each tasset.


Dimensions: Overall height: 539 mm (23.2 in.), Breastplate, Height: 439 mm (17.3 in.), Width: 348 mm (13.7 in.), Right tasset, Height: 247 mm (9.8 in.), Width: 349 mm (13.8 in.), Left tasset, Height: 249 mm (9.9 in.), Width: 311 mm (12.3 in.), Weight: 3.2 kg (7 lb 0 oz.)

Inscriptions and Marks

The breastplate is struck at the neck with a crowned IR for the Arsenal of King James II, and ID for the maker. Each tasset is marked inside with a group of four chisel marks.


Places England.