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Old Tower stock, sent on loan 184 to South Africa in 1920 and returned to the Armouries on 15/7/91

Physical Description

With a raised neck-opening, low sloping shoulders and a flange at the waist. The neck, arm and flange edges have inward turns and are bordered by double incised line decoration. A medial single incised line runs down the spine. At either shoulder are fragments of a leather strap, each covered with a rectangular plate bordered by double incised line decoration. The rear edge is cut into four scallops each with a domed rivet securing the plate to the backplate. The outermost rivet and the third rivet on the right hand plate have square washers, the fourth has a round washer and the second is missing. The outermost and innermost rivets on the left hand plate have no washers and the two rivets between are missing. Additionally both plates have a pair of domed rivets at the front which secure the leather only, and are provided with square copper rivets.

At either side of the waist are three rivet holes for a waist strap. At the centre of the neck-opening and below each arm is a later suspension hole.

The outer surface is bright, the inner rough from the hammer. Both shoulders of the main plate have been cut back cleanly until just below the front edge of the shoulder plate , perhaps (?) during the working life. The front edges below the armholes have some small splits, with a larger split on the right at the junction with the flange. There are several slight dents in the outer surface, notably to the left of the medial line.


Dimensions: Max. Height: 428 mm (16.9 in), Max. Width: 384 mm (15.1 in) Weight: 1.25 kg (2 lb 12.25 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped low on the spine: TOIRAS (three letters each side of the medial line). Inside, just above the flange, is painted in red paint: L65/895 and above, in yellow paint with flecks of red: 3745


Places France


For French service. Captured form the French under Marshal Toiras in 1627. During the ill-fated Ile de Rhe expedition about 1000 cuirasses were seized, probably from the ship 'St. Esprit'. This is one of 281 breasts and backs still in the Armouries and mentioned in the 1650 summary Inventory (I.56, re-acquired for the Armouries in November, 1963). The Toiras group is the most extensive armour trophy surviving form a 17th century campaign.