Object Title





Object Number



Transferred from the Rotunda Museum of Artillery, Woolwich 1927. From Rhodes, acquired by Sir J. Lefroy, 1867.

Physical Description

Formed of one large fluted plate covering the front of the horse's head, with attached side, nose, eye and ear plates.

The main plate has a diagonally fluted, low, medial ridge, above and below a flat area with a hole where the escutcheon would have been fitted. Above this area, the plate is of rounded section, below it boxed, with an angle curving at either side from the eye to the nose. From the central area, above and below and at either side, groups of six shallow curved flutes flare out. Those below reverse directions at the box, forming chevrons, with five more flutes added below. At the lower end, a flute curves into the ridge at the nose. The edges of the plate are plain, and cusped with the fluting at either side. A row of lining rivets runs at either side from the eye to the upper medial ridge. There is a modern rivet at the main edge between the eye and ear-pieces at either side. The ear-pieces are leaf-shaped, curving inward and of rounded section, and each is embossed with thirteen flutes radiating from the lower medial area. The edges are cusped with the fluting, and bevelled. The left is secured by five brass-capped rivets without washers, the right by modern dome-headed rivets.

The poll-plate is lost; two rivets at the upper edge of the main plate reveal its former presence.

The eye-pieces are modern; each is attached at a flange by four rivets, is embossed with six outward-curving flutes, with a cusped and bevelled edge. The side-pieces are pointed at their lower ends, and flare towards their upper edges, with cut-outs for the eyes. They are attached to the main-plate, by which each is overlapped, by six rivets. Each is embossed with ten flutes, continuing those on the main plate, and has triangular embossings at the edge within the flutes. At the upper corner is a rivet hole for the attachment of a strap.
Formed of one large fluted plate with attached side, nose, The nose-piece has a blunt medial point. It is attached to the main-plate by five rivets, all modern except that at the centre. Its upper edge is bordered by a transverse ridge, flanked by sunken, incised bands, the lower of which is expanded into a medial point which develops into a dentated medial ridge over the lower part of the lame. At either side are five broad flutes, slightly curved and offset with thick incised lines. The lower edge is cusped with the fluting. The medial point is broken-off and corroded.

The original rivets are of iron, with domed brass caps and circular hollow internal washers, retaining fragments of leather lining-band. Seventeen of the brass caps are lost.


Dimensions: Length 590 mm, width 270 mm, depth 184 mm Weight: 1.55 kg

Inscriptions and Marks

At the lower rear of the left side-piece is stamped the Rotunda number, MA 2361.


Bibliographic References

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

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1873: 140, MA 2361

Official Catalogue of the Museum of Artillery in the Rotunda, Woolwich, London, 1889: 150, no. 16/290

W J Karcheski Jr and T Richardson, The medieval armour from Rhodes, Leeds, Royal Armouries 2000: no. 12.2

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1


Another shaffron of this same type, catalogue number 12.3, is also from Rhodes. Compare also an example from the von Kienbusch collection now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art, no. 1977-167-268 (Kienbusch 1963: 218, no. 214, pl. lxxvi) formerly Meyrick, Keasbey and Dean collections, and one in the Victoria and Albert Museum, no. M45.1927; and one in the Royal Armouries, no. vi.408, formerly de Cosson, Alfred Cox of Glendoick, Perth, and Richard Williams collections (Laking 1920 III: 187, fig. 998), which was thought by Williams to be from Rhodes (Williams 1955: 75).