Object Title

Right harquebusier's tasset and poleyn

Right harquebusier's tasset and poleyn



Object Number

III.1962 B


From the Armoury at Littlecote House. Purchased 15/11/1985.

Physical Description

It is of ten lames overlapping upwards. The upper lame is deep, with a transverse angle to fit over the flange of a breast plate. The upper lame is pierced with two keyhole slots. The lames are articulated by restored internal leathers at the inside and centre, and sliding rivets at the outside; all the rivets for these are on cusps.

The poleyn is of five lames, overlapping upwards and downwards from the main plate. The upper lame is deep,and intended to be detachable. The lames are articulated by rivets at either side. The main plate is rounded to the knee, with a large heart shaped wing on the outside with a slight medial pucker, and pierced with a central rivet hole for the attachment of a strap.

The main edges are inwardly turned and bordered with double incised lines. The subsidiary edges are similarly bordered. Lines of brass capped rivets run down the inner and outer articulation points of each tasset, and some lining rivets at the edges survive.

The second, seventh and eighth lames of the tasset, and the upper and lower two lames of the poleyn are restorations. The original lames are corroded, damaged and trimmed to fit the present configuration. The poleyn main plate has a central internal riveted repair.


Dimensions: height: 650 mm (25.7 in), Weight: 6.9 kg (15 lb 3 oz) (Complete with tassets and poleyns)

Inscriptions and Marks


Bibliographic References

Sotheby's, The Contents of Littlecote House, vol.II, 22 November 1985, lot 22.Hussey, C., Littlecote, Wiltshire-II, Country life, 2 December 1965, pp.1466-71, fig. 3,5.


Displayed as the composite cuirassier A2, with III.1999, 2039,2040 and IV.878. The cuirassiers A1-5 originally comprised backplates with culets, tassets and vambraces only. See 'Littlecote, Wiltshire-II', Hussey. They were redisplayed by the Royal Armouries workshop for Sir Seton Wills, in 1968 (See AL17 file), at which time a box of detached cheekpieces and shoulder straps was conveyed to the Tower.