Object Title

Buff gauntlet

Buff gauntlet



Object Number



Purchased from Howard Ricketts, London, 30 April 1992. Thought at the time to be from the Rodes Collection at Barlborough Hall; Bullock's London Museum (1809); the Meyrick Collection, Goodrich Court, but probably not the case

Physical Description

Of buff leather, the cuff extending over the elbow. This and a panel protecting the hand are covered with buff leather scales.



Dimensions: length: 602mm; width: 230mm; depth: 40mm


Places England

Bibliographic References

F Grose, Ancient armour, 1788, pl. 39 nos 5-6

W Bullock, A companion to the Liverpool Museum, 1809: 75

W Bullock, A companion to Mr Bullock's London Museum and Pantherion, 1812: 31

J Hewitt, 'Notice of some examples of buff armour and of defences formed with scales of leather or of plate', The Archaeological Journal xix, 1862: 94


Grose gives a length of 25 in and a width of opening of 12 in for the Barlborough hall gauntlet. Hewitt cites Grose, and notes that the gauntlet was then in the Meyrick collection at Goodrich Court (Meyrick and Skelton III: 87 note). The Barlborough Hall gauntlet is associated with Sir Francis Rodes (c. 1598-1645, knighted 1641). Correspondence with David Bostwick of Barlborough Hall notes an inventory of 1844 including 6 coats of mail and 2 leather coats, but no gauntlets (but it would be gone before 1809 if it was the same as the one in Bullock's Museum as Bullock claimed). In 2003 a group of pieces from the Rodes family collection, acquired by an American private collector in the 1920s, was offered to the Royal Armouries, and subsequently donated to the Speed Art Museum Louisville in 2004. These included a gauntlet which looks closer to the Grose gauntlet than any other. It was measured by staff at the Speed at 24.75 in long and 10.5 in wide, which corresponds pretty well with the Rodes/Grose gauntlet. Another gauntlet of this type is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, no. 29.159.222, from the Meyrick collection (Meyrick and Skelton II pl. lxxix fig. 6, and this one seems to be illustrated in M E de Beaumont, Armes meconnues, Gazette de Beaux Arts 1878: 9 alongside a redrawn version of the Barlborough Hall gauntlet after Grose but with the scales the wrong way round (p. 10). This one has a strap inside the palm and no glove. Another, for the left hand is in the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, no. 923.40 (old no. M8736), presented by W H Fenton and formerly in the Meyrick and Captain Hutton collections. This is 24.5 in long and has a cuff opening 11.5 in wide. It has an internal glove like Grose's illustration, and its scales overlap away from the wrist. Another, also for the left hand, is in the National Trust at Montacute House. Nick Norman's dimensions for this are length 23 in and width of opening 10 in, and the scales similarly overlap away from the wrist.