Object Title

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets

Pikeman's breastplate and tassets


About 1640

Object Number



Old Tower stock, sent on loan 184 to South Africa in 1959 and returned to the Armouries on 15/7/91

Physical Description

Of short waisted form, with cut-out at the neck, narrow shoulders, a medial ridge and a deep flange at the waist. The arm and neck edges and sides of the waist-flange have plain, inward turns. The neck and arm-openings are bordered by single incised line decoration, whilst the sides of the waist-flange have recessed borders.
At either side of the chest is a
plain, broad swivel-hook, fitted with an internal square brass washer, which engages a pierced stud to the outside of it that originally held the shoulder strap from the backplate.
Each side of the waist is pierced by two crude wiring holes, the centre of the neck-opening by one.
Each tasset is attached to the flange by two hinges, the hasps pointed at the bottom and rounded at the top, and slightly waisted near the hinge, being secured to the flange by a large flattened rivet on the upper hasp and to the tasset by two smaller rivets vertically aligned on the lower hasp. The inner hinge of the left tasset now has brass rivets, those on the lower hasp with flattened heads, the upper one on the lower hasp fitted with an internal square washer. The upper rivet of the lower hasp on the inner hinge of the right tasset has been replaced and is fitted with an internal square washer.
The tassets are each of one piece, the main edges of which have inward turns accompanied by a recessed border. The upper left corner of the right tasset is cut obliquely for the passage of the left tasset. Each tasset is embossed to simulate 6 lames, the lowest being deeper than the rest. Each simulated lame is bordered by single incised line decoration. Each lame is bordered at the incised line by a decorative rivet at the centre and at each side, forming columns which terminate at the 6th in a triangular pattern of three rivets.
The inside of the left tasset has a patch of slight lamination at the upper end.


Dimensions: Breastplate., Height: 40.5 cm (15.9 in) approx., Width: 42.2 cm (16.6 in), Tassets., Height: 24.2 cm (9.55 in), Width: 34.4 cm (13.55 in) Weight: * kg ( * lb * oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Stamped at the neck with a crowned IR, There are numerous wedge-shaped construction marks on the inside of each tasset at the outer end of the 1st embossed lame. Painted in yellow paint on the inside of the left tasset on the inner side of the 6th embossed lame: L65/875 S(?)AM 9529 (?) (crossed through)


Places England