Object Title

Saddle steel

Saddle steel



Object Number



Old Tower Collection, probably transferred from Greenwich in 1649.

Physical Description

A pair to VI.96. Decorated with bands of etched and gilt arabesques and foliage. Between the bands bears scolling foliage without gilding. The saddle bow is made of three plates and the cantle of four, the central plates embossed with deep curving ridges at either side, each set with six holes for screws fixing the plates to the saddle frame, those at the joins also fastening the plates together. The armour was decorated overall with narrow bands and borders etched and gilt with arabesques, the ground between these is covered with a widely spaced etched design of scrolling foliage.


Dimensions: Height: 560 mm (22 in); width: 550 mm (21.7 in) Weight: 1395 g (3 lb 12 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

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

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: arms and the man, Leeds, 2009,


Valued with VI.96. RC2: Permission to lend required from the sovereign. The decoration is probably based on designs by Hans Holbein the Younger as it is reminiscent of, but not identical to, some of the designs in the Englischen Skizzenbuch in the Kunstmuseum, Basel (inv. 1662.165). It is possible that this is the armour 'one harnesse for the kinges Majestie all graven and parcel guilte bothe for the felde and Tilte complete which was commanded to be translated at the kinges goinge over to Bulloigne whiche lieth in peces parte translated and patre untranslated by A contrarie comaundement by the kinges Majestie' at Greenwich in the 1547 inventory (Starkey 1998: 161).