Object Title

Tail piece of a horse armour

Tail piece of a horse armour

Date

1550

Object Number

VI.319

Provenance

Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery, Woolwich, 1927.

Physical Description

Boldly embossed in the form of a monster's head with open jaws, the surface etched with lines, formerly gilt, to represent hair and scales. A pair of ears of bat-wing shape are attached by rivets at either side. The piece is intended to be attached to the crupper-plate of the horse armour above the tail since the opening at the back is too narrow for the tail to pass through it. The tongue and inner surfaces are tinned. The etching of the ears is of much more slender lines, indicating that they are earlier and perhaps associated, about 1510-20, possibly from a helmet.

Dimensions

Dimensions: height: 185 mm; width: 140 mm; depth: 280 mm Weight: 1135 g (2 lb 8 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

none visible.

Associations

Bibliographic References

Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, no. XVI.100 and MA 2135

C FFoulkes, Archaeolgia, 1928, fig.3

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

J-P Reverseau, Les Armures des Rois de France, Paris, 1982: 57

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011 volume 2

Notes

The horse armour to which this piece belongs bears the mark of Kunz Lochner and was originally in the arsenal at Sedan. The contents of the arsenal were transferred to Paris in 1799 and certain pieces appear to have been looted from it by British and Prussian forces in 1815, the crupper being taken to Berlin and the tail-piece to England. The peytral and shaffron remain in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris, nos G.565, 588. The crupper is now in the Castle Museum, Malbork, Poland. Compare A. Dieber-Schønberg, Die Waffen der Wartburg, Berlin, 1912, pl.XXI, no.61/2. for a similar head.