Object Title

Cuirassier armour

Cuirassier armour

Date

1625-1635

Object Number

II.97

Provenance

Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Comprises a close helmet, gorget, breastplate, backplate, pauldrons, vambraces, gauntlets and tassets. The close helmet has a two-piece skull embossed with 10 radial ribs, has a suspension loop at the top and a plain plume holder at the rear. It is bordered by a row of flush lining rivets. The pivoted peak has a broad upper section with a cusped edge, and is badly damaged at its right end. The bevor is plain, and has a pierced stud at the right fastened by a swivel hook on the skull. The gorget plates are each single plates attached by two rivets at either side. The main edges have plain inward turns bordered by plain and lining rivets. There are riveted repairs at the pivot points at either side of the skull, at either side of the flange of the skull where the gorget plate I attached, and the left end of the front and rear gorget plates. The exterior is bright, with patches of stable corrosion on the top. The skull, gorget plates and bevor each have a construction mark of 6 incised lines. The pauldrons are a pair, with mainplates narrow at the front and broad at the rear decorated with rosettes of rivets, with 4 lames above and below. The main edges have plain inward turns bordered by double incised lines and decorative rivets. The lames are articulated by rivets at the rear and modern leathers at the centre and front. At the centre of the upper lame is a slot and buckle for the strap. The vambraces have turners, short upper cannons, bracelet couters with 2 articulating lames above and below , and lower cannon hinged at the rear and fastened by sprung studs at the front. The wings of the couters have rosettes of rivets. The left gauntlet has a long straight cuff, 4 metacarpal lames, knuckle plate, fully scaled finger defences on modern leathers and thumb defence of 3 plates and 4 scales. The main edge has a plain inward turn bordered by brass capped iron lining rivets. The right gauntlet has a short, modern cuff, 4 metacarpal lames, a knuckle plate with an embossed and roped ridge and fully scaled finger defences on modern leathers. The thumb defence is missing. The tassets are a pair. Each has a wide and angled upper lame with a keyhole slot, 13 lames, a deep lower lame, and a poleyn comprising a main plate with a heart-shaped wing with 2 articulating lames above and 1 below plus a deep pointed lower plate. The main edges have plain inward turns bordered by double incised lines. The lames are articulated by modern sliding rivets at the outside and modern leathers at the centre and inside. At the edges are rows of flush lining rivets of which 6 survive on the left and all but one on the right. The lines of articulation and lining rivets are decorated with bras capped iron rivets. On the right lame 7 is damaged, while on the left lame 3 is cracked at the left end and lame 14 is cracked and laminating at the centre. The lames have construction marks, each lame of both 6 wedges, and the lames are numbered from the top on the left I-XII and XIIII-XX and on the right I-XVIIII. Round the knees are modern straps. The breastplate is very light, with a low neck, medial ridge and a medium flange wit mushroom headed studs at either side for the tassets. The main edges have plain inward turns. At either arm is a modern mushroom headed stud and a rivet filling the holes for pierced studs and swivel hooks for the shoulder straps. At either shoulder is a pair of holes for another later strap. The exterior is bright. There are cracks at the centre and left of the flange. The backplate is associated and later. It has a raised neck and a medium flange. The main edges have plain inward turns bordered by single incised lines. At either side of the waist is a modern waist strap and buckle, and at either shoulder is a modern leather shoulder strap with original scales and terminal plates pierced with 3 holes and with a decorative finial. The flange is pierced with 3 holes at the sides and centre for the missing culet studs. The gorget is from an English pikeman's armour of about 1635. It is made of a single plate front and rear, joined by a rivet at the left and fastened by a stud and keyhole slot at the right. The lower edge of the rear plate is flat, that of the front plate pointed, and both originally had raised neck, though that of the rear plate has been cut down to fit the high neck of the backplate. The main edges have plain inward turns with recessed borders. At either side of the rear plate is a modern strap for the pauldrons. The point of the front plate is damaged.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Overall height as mounted 1250 mm, width 690 mm; helmet height 315 mm, width 270 mm, depth 260 mm; left vambrace length 690 mm, width 250 mm, depth 290 mm, right vambrace length 690 mm, width 270 mm, depth 330 mm; left gauntlet length 310 mm, right gauntlet length 260 mm, width 102 mm, depth 103 mm; left tasset length 600 mm, width 260 mm; right tasset length 625 mm, width 260 mm; breastplate height 420 mm, width 340 mm; backplate height 390 mm, width 345 mm; gorget height 120 mm, width 300 mm, depth 260 mm.

Inscriptions and Marks

The gorget is stamped W for the maker, Richard Wright, and has some other illegible letters (perhaps L, W and C) in the damaged section.

Associations

Places Netherlands