Object Title

Body armour

Body armour


17th - 18th century

Object Number

XXVIH.18 c


Purchased for the displays at the Tower Armouries from a private buyer following the sale of the Gwennap collection at Laing's Shooting Gallery in June 1833. On display at the Tower by 1834. Acquired by William Bullock for his London Museum and Pantherion, 1809; sold in 1816 to Mr Gwennap for the Oplotheca in London and subsequently shown at the Gothic Hall, Pall Mall in 1820 and at the ‘Royal Armoury’ show at Haymarket circa 1821.

Physical Description

This body armour combines peytral (chest panels), flanchard (flank panels) and crupper (rump panels) in one armoured garment, which opens at the front and has an aperture for the saddle. The armour is of mail and plate construction, with overlapping plates secured between rows of solid and riveted mail links. The edges of the small plates are cusped and scalloped, which lends a geometric patterned appearance to the armour. At the shoulders and flank areas of the armour the rows of mail and plate are arranged to accommodate plates placed in a close-set radiating pattern around large circular plates or bosses which are edged with a brass border. The section located where the rider's legs rest is made up solely of mail. The textile lining of the armour is probably later in date.

Bibliographic References

W. Bullock, A companion to Mr Bullock's London Museum and Pantherion, London, 1812, p. 23.

Catalogue of a most splendid and instructive collection of antient armour, exhibiting at the Oplotheca, London, 1816, p. 22.

Gothic Hall, Pall Mall, Catalogue of the splendid collection of antient armour, London, 1818, p. 14, no. 31, as 'armour of a Crusader...being of the time of King Stephen'.

Royal Armoury, Haymarket, Descriptive catalogue of a very costly and superb collection of military antiquities, London, n.d. (c.1820), no. 2, 'the armour of a Norman Crusader and his barbed horse...'.

A new and improved history and description of the Tower of London, London, 1834, pp. 26-7.

J. Hewitt, The Tower, its history, armouries and antiquities, London, 1834, p. 50 and fp.; idem 1845, pp. 74-5; idem 1854, pp. 63-4.

J. Hewitt, Official catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, no. xv.389, p. 110.

Viscount Dillon, Illustrated guide to the Armouries, London, 1910, no. xv.15, p. 29.

H.R. Robinson, Oriental armour, London, 1967, pl. xix.c.

A. Borg, 'A Crusader in borrowed armour', Country Life, 18 July 1974.

T. Richardson, 'The Tong Crusader', Country Life, 2 April 1987, pp. 98-9.

C. Bayly, The Raj, London, 1990, no. 13, p. 45.

D, Nicolle, Mughul India 1504-1761, Osprey Men-at-Arms 263, London, 1993, p. 21.

: 120-5

Indian Arms and Armour

Islamic Arms and Armour