Object Title

Shaffron - Warwick shaffron

Shaffron - Warwick shaffron



Object Number



Purchased 26 February 1987 from Howard Ricketts Ltd. From the Armoury of the Earls of Warwick; sold by an anonymous vendor.

Physical Description

Of voluminous form, enclosing the entire head. It comprises a main plate and two side plates. Brown patina.

Featured in

Hundred Years War


Dimensions: Length: 770 mm, width: 357 mm, depth: 295 mm Weight: 4.9 kg ( 10 lb 12 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Europe

Bibliographic References

Sir William Dugdale, The Antiquities of Warwickshire, London, 1656: 344

Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, London, 1786: xxvii, pl.XLII

History of Guy Earl of Warwick, Coventry, 1829 (repr.): xi fig.

John Hewitt, Ancient Armour and Weapons in Europe, II, London and Oxford, 1860: 317

J Starkie-Gardiner, Foreign Armour in England, London and New York, 1898: 77;

G F Laking, A Record of European Armour and Arms, III, London, 1920: 151-2, fig. 957

J G Mann, Die Alten R³stkammerbestßnde auf Warwick castle, Zeitschrift f³r Historische Waffen-und Kost³mkunde, XIV, 1936: 158-9, pl.XI2

Claude Blair, European Armour, London, 1958: 184

Helmet Nickel, English Armour in the Metropolitian Museum, Connoisseur, CLXXII, Nov. 1969: 197

London Museum, Chaucer's London, (handlist), London, 1972: addenda

I Eaves and T Richardson 1987 The Warwick shaffron. Journal of the Arms and Armour Society xii.4: 217-22

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


This type of shaffron appears on an ivory chessman, possibly English, perhaps 1350-75, Metropolitian Museum of Art, New York, 1968.68.95 (H Nickel op cit., fig.4; J Hewitt, op cit., pl.XLVIII) where it is shown with a mail bard with fabric trappings. Most illustrations of the type belong to the period 1400-20; on two figures from the tomb of Henry V (d.1422) in his chantry chapel in Westminster Abbey (G.F. Laking, op cit., fig.958);in an illustration of the Battle of Ronceveuz, in 'Les Grandes Chroniques de France', Leningrad Public Library, f.30v; in a detail of a joust from a sketch book attributed to Andre Beauneveu, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, M.346 f.5; and in illustrations for the poems of Christine de Pisan, British Library, Harleian MS 4431 f.98, f.114 and f.135. The type which developed from these shaffrons, without a nose piece and with semi-circular eye defences open at the front, is commonly illustrated from about 1410: for example, 'Hystoire de Roys de France', British Library, Royal Ms 20c, vii, f.136.