Object Title

Left lower tasset

Left lower tasset



Object Number

II.360 K


Purchased from H Ricketts, London, February 1984, with the aid of a public appeal and assistance from the National Art Collections Fund, National Heritage Memorial Fund and Sir Emmanuel Kaye. Formerly in the collection of Lord Astor of Hever Castle, purchased from the London dealer R Partridge in 1907, sold Sotheby's 5 May 1983 lot 47.

Physical Description

The tassets are of fourteen lames, of which the lower are detachable, and fastened by turning pins of the outer side of the tenth lames and studs in keyhole slots on the inner. The large upper lames are angled over the flange of the breastplate, to which they are each attached by two buckles matching those on the culet, with rectangular notches in the edges above them to accommodate the straps from the breastplate. The tassets are each fastened to the leg of the tenth lame by buckles, both, unusually, at the right, and straps, now missing, at the left. The poleyns have sharp medial keels over the point of the knee, and heart shaped wings with a medial pucker. Each is articulated by a narrow lame to the long lower lame of the tasset, and continued over the knee by a curved lower lame, each of which retain fragments of the original canvas lining of gilt brass headed lining rivets. The tenth lames of the tassets retain traces of their original lining, and fragments of the original internal leathers survive on the lower lames of the left tasset. Each tasset ia articulated on three internal leathers. The main edges are all inwardly turned and file roped, while the subsidiary edges are plain.

Each plate of the armour is etched and gilt with an overall design of interlacing eared snakes in vertical bands, joined by diagonally interlacing spindly foliage with occasional flowers, amongst which are perching predatory birds, flying parrots, various insects, including grasshoppers and dragonflies, snails (some winged), long eared squirrels and gambolling hares. The surface, though blackened with rust, appears as bright steel where protected. The borders, which accompany each turned edge, are etched with a simple scrolling foilage frieze on a hatched ground. The comb of the close helmet is etched with a more complex scrolling foliage frieze on a hatched ground. Both border types are all gilt, and are bordered on either side by plain gilt bands.


OverallHeight310 mm
OverallWeight2.41 kg
OverallWidth180 mm

Inscriptions and Marks



Places France