Object Title

Left vambrace

Left vambrace

Date

1550

Object Number

II.82 J

Provenance

Probably transferred from the palace at Greenwich, 1649.

Physical Description

The armour consists of breastplate with reinforce and tassets, backplate, pauldrons, vambraces, gauntlets, cuisses with poleyns, greaves, mail sabatons, toe-caps, collar and close-helmet. The armour is decorated en suite with decorated bands consisting of a recessed strip with double incised line decoration running down the centre, retaining traces of gilding. Main edges have two pairs of double incised lines, retaining traces of gilding.


The breastplate consists of a main plate, additional lame and waist-plate, to the lowest of which is attached a pair of laminated tassets. The main plate has a slight medial ridge and is of slightly peascod form. The neck has a wide, plain inward turn accompanied by incised line decoration, and a recessed border, partly gilt, with incised lines each side, within which are 8 domed lining rivets with internal round washers. Beyond this, on all main edges, are two pairs of incised line decoration. Each armhole has a gusset secured by a domed pivoting rivet at the lower end and domed sliding rivet at the upper end, with internal square washers. Between these is a small rivet hole in the gusset but not in the adjacent main plate Each gusset has a wide, plain, inward turn, accompanied by double incised line decoration, with a single line by the main plate. The recessed border is set with 6 domed lining rivets. There is a pierced stud at each corner of the neck opening and at the lower end of each armhole, for securing the backplate. Slightly below these, at each side, is a flush rivet. On the right of the breast are three holes in a triangle, for the missing lance-rest. To left of centre near the lower edge is a rivet hole that does not correspond to the plate under it. At each side is a modern hinged bevilled hasp for attaching to the backplate, the hasp cusped by the hinge and pierced with three holes, terminating in a loop with leather cord and pin. The hinge, slightly fish-tailed and bevilled, is secured by three domed rivets, with a fourth, flush, rivet slightly above the hinge, presumably from the original hasp. The main plate overlaps and articulates with an additional lame by two domed rivets each side, one hidden inside, the other a sliding rivet with square washer on the left and octagonal on the right side. Above the left pair of rivets is a flush rivet on the main plate. This lame overlaps and articulates with a flanged waist-plate by a slightly domed sliding rivet each side with internal octagonal washer. These two rivets are mostly set under the main plate above, and sit uneasily. In addition, all three plates are articulated on three modern leathers, each leather having two rivets per plate. Those on the lower plates are flush, those on the main plate are domed and fitted with internal octagonal washers. Three decorated bands converge slightly towards the waist-plate. On the lame the left-hand band is slightly askew. This, together with the use of domed rather than flush rivets, and a slight variation in colour, suggests it may have been added perhaps for the Georgian coronation. A single fauld lame articulates to the waist-plate flange by a sliding domed rivet each side, with internal octagonal washer and a small rivet hole on the outer side. Suspended from this are a pair of laminated tassets each of 6 lames, curving towards the top to an arch on the lower edge of the fauld. This arch has a central domed rivet. The lower three lames are detachable, being attached at each side to the lame above by a turning pin with slotted top and a keyhole slot. All main edges have plain inward turns accompanied by a recessed border with narrower inner border, both flanked by an incised line each side, and all upper lame edges have two pairs of incised lines. A central vertical band of decoration runs down each tasset. The upper three lames are attached to the fauld lame and flange of the waist lame by a central replacement leather, this being attached to each of these plates and the tasset lames by two flush rivets but to the lowest lame by domed rivets with internal circular washers. On the inner side is a second replacement leather connecting the tasset to the fauld by two flush rivets on each lame but to the lowest lame by a single domed rivet with internal circular washer. A third leather on the outer side connects the top tasset lame to the waist flange, being secured by a flush rivet with circular washer on the flange and by two rivets to the tasset lame, the inner flush, the outer a domed sliding rivet with circular washer that also secures the second tasset lame. The second and third plates are articulated below this leather by a sliding domed rivet with square washer. The first tasset lame has 5 domed rivets along the upper edge. Between the first two on the inner side is a rivet hole closed by a flush rivet, and slightly below on the left lame , a small rivet hole. The 2nd and 3rd lames have a domed rivet at each upper corner, with a corresponding construction hole in the overlapping plate behind. That on the lower edge of the left first lame is filled by a rivet. The 2nd lame has a domed rivet in the central upper edge that lines up with one on the lame above. The lowest lame edge has six lining rivets, the outer each with circular washer and also the 3rd from the inner side. The two turning pins are secured by octagonal washers. The detachable tasset extensions each has three lames with a keyhole slot in the first lame, and a domed rivet at each upper corner. They are connected by sliding domed rivets with internal washers on the outer side and replacement leathers on the centre and left. The centre leather is attached by two flush rivets on the first and second plates and domed rivets with square washers on the 3rd plate. On the left tasset the inner leather also attaches this way, but on the right tasset it has three rivets on first and second lames and two with circular washers on the 3rd. The upper corner of each lame has a domed rivet, the 2nd and 3rd over a construction hole in the plate behind, the latter filled on the second lame on the inner side by a flush rivet; on the outer side all lames have an internal lining leather secured to each lame by a flush rivet. The lowest of these also secures a loop of buff leather for a thigh tie cord, with internal circular washer, there being a similar second loop on the inner side, on the 2nd rivet. Between these loops there are another 7 lining rivets within the recessed border.


The breast reinforce consists of a main plate articulated to a waist lame. The main plate is slightly shaped to the neck with double incised line decoration, and arnholes with double incised line decoration , and is of slightly peascod form. At each shoulder is a cutout for the stud from the breastplate that attaches to the backplate hasps. At each side is a hole on the inner side of which is a pivoted hook with internal octagonal washer, for securing through the pierced stud from the breast. On the right is an irregular cutout for the lance-rest from the breast. The lower edge articulates under a flanged waist-lame by a sliding domed rivet each side, with internal circular washer. Additionally a replacement leather is secured at the centre by two flush rivets on the main plate and two domed rivets with circular washers, on the waist-lame. The waist-lame has an inwardly turned lower edge bordered by a recessed border and narrower recessed border beside it, each flanked both sides by single incised line decoration. The upper edge of the waist-lame and the edge bordering the flange has two pairs of double incised line decoration. Three decorated bands on the two plates converge slightly towards the flange. A small internal patch is secured by two flush rivets to the lower edge of the main plate, below the right-hand sliding rivet. A small area on the lower right side of the main plate has laminated.


The backplate consists of a main plate, flanged waist-lame and culet plate. The main plate is slightly shaped to the shoulders and has a straight, wide upper edge which lacks any shaping for a neck opening. This and the arm-openings have full inward turns accompanied by a recessed border, this being set with ten iron lining rivets, all domed except for the lowest each side, which is flush. All except the flush rivets are fitted internally with a square washer securing a leather lining band. except for the flush rivets which have circular washers. The latter also form the top rivet of a line of four lace holes down each side edge, these added for a replacement lining perhaps in the 18th century for the champion in the coronation. Each recessed border is bounded by a second, narrower border, itself bordered by two pairs of incised line decoration. This line decoration is repeated on the lowest edge. The borders and lines retain some gilding. The main plate overlaps a flanged waist-lame, having two horizontal double incised line bands, retaining some gilding. The flanged lower edge in turn is overlapped by a single culet plate. The waist-lame is attached to the main plate each side by a sliding domed iron rivet with internal square washer, being similarly attached to the culet. All three plates are further secured by a central replacement internal leather secured to the main plate and culet each by two iron domed rivets with internal square washers, and on the waist-lame by two flush rivets with circular washers. This leather is bounded either side by a pair of domed rivets on the main plate and flush rivets on the waist lame for a missing leather. To the outer side of this each side is a domed rivet, then a flush rivet next to a pierced stud for the breastplate hasp, then a hole and then a diagonal pair of holes (also a small irregular damage? hole between domed rivet and flush rivet). These holes are probably later adaptions. Below the sliding rivet on the waist-lame there is a horizontal pair of domed rivets probably added in the 17th century for a waist belt. The waist-lame, like the main plate, has a line of two lace holes at each edge, the lowest on the left having broken out. The culet is bordered on the upper edge by two bands of double incised line decoration with traces of gilding. The lower edge has an inward turn with a recessed border within which are 18 domed iron rivets, all except the outermost at each side having internal square washers securing a leather lining band. The outermost are flatter and form the lowest of three small rivets along the side edges, the others represented by holes. The lowest on the left has broken out. The lower border of the culet is itself bounded by a narrower border, all retaining some gilding. The main plate has two domed rivets in the centre of the neck, with internal square washers securing a replacement rectangular piece of leather. Three recessed bands, each enclosing a central band of double incised line decoration, and retaining some gilding, converge slightly towards the base and expand again at the flange. At each shoulder is a hinged hasp, the plate secured internally by three domed rivets. Each hasp has 5 holes near the lower end, 3 large and two smaller, and a small hole above with a replacement leather band holding a pin. Nearer the shoulder is a pierced lug with a small hole below for the missing cord and pin. Below the shoulder, slightly inset from the borders, on each side, is a domed rivet. There is a small laminated area on the left side.


Each cuisse consists of a main plate with top plate , and a poleyn with two lames above and below. The main plate has a slight medial ridge. It articulates to a top plate that is drawn up to an asymmetrical curve, by a pivoting domed rivet on the inner side (with internal washer, circular on the left cuisse, square on the right) and a sliding domed rivet in the centre. That on the right cuisse has a square washer, and to the side on each top plate is a small hole. On the outer side the top plate attaches by a replacement leather secured by a rivet on each plate. On the right cuisse the lower rivet is domed with internal square washer, the upper being flush under the overlapping main plate. On the left cuisse the upper rivet is domed and forms the end of the row of lining rivets, the original hole further down the plate filled by a flush rivet. Both rivets on this plate have internal circular washers. The upper edge of the top plate has an inward turn accompanied by a recessed border with narrower one beside it, each flanked by incised line decoration. The wider border contains a row of domed lining rivets; the left cuisee had 11, of which the innermost is missing, and the extreme left one has the connecting leather mentioned. The right cuisse had 12 rivets, that at each end missing, the rest with square washers securing a leather lining band. The 4th-6th rivet from the inner side also secures a replacement leather tab pierced with two holes for securing to the body. In the centre of each cuisse is a domed rivet. At each side is a flattened rivet, the right cuisse with circular washers (the left broken) retaining a fragment of leather from the thigh strap. The main plate articulates each side to the first of two lames above the poleyn by a pivoting domed rivet with square washer. The two lames articulate with each other on a sliding rivet each side and with the poleyn via a pivoting rivet each side. All have square washers except that on the outer rivet of the 1st-2nd lames of the left cuisse, which is circular. The poleyn has a medial ridge, the left side drawn out to a circular wing with inverted medial line. The wing edge has an inward turn with recessed border and narrower inner border, each flanked by incised line decoration. A domed rivet with circular washer each side secures a modern buff leather strap and buckle. The poleyn articulates with the first of two lower lames by a sliding domed rivet on the outer side and pivoting rivet on the inner side, all with internal square washers. The first lame similarly articulates with the second lame by domed sliding rivets with square washers. This lower lame is drawn down to an obtuse point, with a hole on the inner side and keyhole slot on the outer, for securing to the greave. A band of decoration runs down the cuisse and poleyn. The side edges have a recessed border with double incised line decoration, and all main edges have two pairs of double incised line decoration.


Each greave consists of a front and rear plate, each with a slight medial ridge and shaped to the leg. Each greave hinges on the outer side on two internal hinges, each with a domed rivet except for the right top hinge, whose rear plate has a rivet next to the original hole. Above each upper hinge on the outer rear edge is a small hole which has broken out; in addition, there is a smaller hole above that on the left greave. Each greave has a cusped inner upper corner, and closes on the inner side by an upper and lower pierced sprung stud, each stud being attached through an internal steel strip whose far end is secured to the plate via a domed rivet. Each stud passes through a hole in the rear plate; the holes on the right rear plate have broken out and been smoothed off. To the rear of each stud is a pivoting hook, those on the left leg with internal square washers, the lower on the right leg with circular washer. Each stud attaches through a hole in the front plate, each with an earlier hole next to it. The upper edge of each rear plate has an inward turn accompanied by a recessed border with narrower inner border, both flanked by incised line decoration. At the upper inner corner of each front plate is a stud, with a slotted turning pin at the outer corner, that on the right greave with internal circular washer, for securing to the lower lame of the poleyn. The lower edges of each greave have inward turns accompanied by single incised line, and two pairs of double incised lines. Each plate has in this area wo rivet hole, only the right rear plate retaining it's slightly domed rivets, the outer with internal square washer. A decorative band of three pairs of double incised lines runs down the centre of each plate, and two pairs down the edges of each front plate.


The close helmet consists of a skull, bevor, upper bevor, visor and 2 neck lames. A decorative band runs on each side of the crest, from front to rear of the helmet and down the rear lames. From the upper bevor three bands, one centrally, run down and over the front lames. The helmet has a one-piece skull drawn up to a medial crest, the apex pierced with a hole for securing a plume. The skull is drawn down at rear to form a shallow flange. The brow edge has a thick outward turn with a double recessed border, the ridge set with 7 holes for lining rivets, and retaining traces of gilding. Within the outer border is a line of later lining holes that continue as far as the neck. At the nape is a line of 5 domed iron lining rivets. At the lower end of the crest are two domed rivets to left and one to the right. Additionally there are two close-set rivets to the right of the skull. The bevor, upper bevor and visor pivot each side on a large domed pierced lug secured internally by a split pin. The right bevor arm is damaged at the pivot point and has a repair plate secured by 4 flush rivets. The bevor is shaped to the chin and has a flanged lower edge. The face opening also has a double border, the ridge set with 9 holes for lining rivets, the outer border with a line of later lining holes. Above the flanged lower edge is a row of 7 domed lining rivets. On the right are two rivet holes for the missing sprung stud and hook, for securing the visor. To the rear of these is a hole for the visor prop. Each rear edge is pierced by a hole for the stud to connect to a corresponding hole in the skull, though the right edge has a half-moon section missing. There is a small hole on the left side near the rear edge. The upper bevor is drawn out to a point in front and has a slightly curved medial ridge. The upper edge has a thick inward turn accompanied by a recessed border; the lower edge is bordered by two bands of double incised line decoration, all retaining traces of gilding. On the rear right the lower edge is cut with 5 notches for the visor prop. The right side is pierced with 5 rows of breaths. The visor fits into the upper bevor, the upper edge being drawn out at the crest, which it is shaped to fit. The left hand edge has laminated. There are two pairs of stepped sights, bordered by double incised lines. The right-hand edge has a sprung stud internally, secured by a flush rivet at rear and oval flush stud at the front. The sprung stud itself projects through a hole in the lower edge, with a ring handle through a slot above. There are two front and two rear neck lames, each connected to the helmet by three internal leathers. At the front the outer leathers connect the two lames to the bevor flange by two flush rivets on each plate except the lowest, where they are flat-headed. The central leather connects only the two lames, the upper rivets flush, the lower flat-headed. In addition, there is a domed rivet filling a construction hole on the outer side of the two lames, over the area of the leathers. The rear lames are connected to the skull flange by three leathers; the central and right leather each has 2 flush rivets on each flange and first lame, and 2 flat-headed rivets on the lowest lame, while the left leather is similar but with only one rivet on flange and first lame. There is a domed rivet filling a construction hole on the outer side of each lame, over the leather. The rear lowest lame is slightly drawn down, and has an inward turn accompanied by a double recessed border within the lowest of which are 4 lining holes in addition to the 6 filled by the leathers rivets. On the left side edge are 4 holes and 1 on thr right edge. Outside the right domed rivet a small hole has broken out to the upper edge. The first lame has L-shaped cut-outs at each side upper edge, and a small piece from a missing lame has been added, secured by two flush rivets, while a hole next to it is filled by a flush rivet. A flush rivet fills a hole in the top central edge. The front first lame has central double V-notches in the upper edge. The top right corner is cut off, and the top left lower corner has a hole that has broken out. The lowest lame is a replacement, with inward turn accompanied by double recessed borders in the lowest of which are two pairs of holes in addition to the lower rivets of the leathers. At each top corner is a hole and below it a keyhole slot. All neck lames have two pairs of double incised lines, partly gilt, at the main edges. There is no gilding on the decoration of the lower front lame.


The collar consists of a front and rear plate, each with a three-lame neck-guard, the front having a slight medial ridge. The top front and rear lames are joined on the left by an internal hinge secured by 4 flush rivets, and on the right by an extension of the rear lame with two outward lugs (lower missing) that connect via two holes in the front lame. Each top lame has an outward turn on the upper edge, bordered by two pairs of double incised line decoration within which are 6 holes for lining rivets in the front plate and 7 in the rear, 4 domed rivets remaining. In addition there are two small holes in the centre of both lames near the lower edge. There is a small hole in the centre of the third rear plate and one in the centre of the third front plate. The top lames are each connected to the others by 4 replacement internal leathers. The inner two on front and rear are secured by a flush rivet on each lame and a domed rivet with internal square washer on the front and rear plate. The outer left leather on the front plate is similar but with two rivets per lame, the right the same but with only one on the 3rd lame . The outer left leather on the rear plate also has two per lame, but the right only has one of the two domed rivets securing the leather . On the outside there is a row of three domed rivets in construction holes in a line on each side of the second and third lames and front and rear plates. The front plate is drawn down to a slight point, and the lower edge is bordered by 15 small slightly domed rivets, except for the first two on the left, which are missing, as is the second on the right, the hole having broken out because the edge has been trimmed back latterly. The rear plate has 20 slightly domed lining rivets, the first on each end missing. At each end of the rear plate are two further holes, with another near the domed rivet at the right-hand end. There is a double rivet hole on the left side that presumably lined up with another in the front plate for a pivoting rivet. The right end of the rear plate also has a flat-headed stud for securing it through a keyhole slot in the front plate. There is little trace of gilding on the three neck lames.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Breastplate and tassets: Max height: approx. 77 cm (30.3 in), Breastplate: Max height: 47.5 cm (18.7 in), Max. width: 38.8 cm (15.25 in), Tasset: Max height: 40 cm (15.75 in), Max width: 25.1 cm (9.85 in), Breast Reinforce: Max height: 45.5 cm (17.9 in), Max width: 37.3 cm (14.7 in), Backplate: Max height: 46.4 cm (18.25), Max width: 39.2 cm (15.45 in) Helmet: max. depth: 33 cm (13 in) approx., Max. width: 25.1 cm (9.8 in), Max. height: 30.5 cm (12 in) approx., Max. height: 15.7 cm (6.2 in), Max. depth: 27.9 cm (11 in) approx., Max. width: 33.3 cm (13.1 in), Cuisse: Max. length: 35.3 cm (13.9 in), Max. width: 16 cm (6.3 in), Greave: Max. length: 34.7 cm (13.7 in), Max. width: 15.2 cm (6 in) approx., Weight: Breastplate and tassets: Backplate: 3.2 kg (7 lb 0 oz), Breast Reinforce: 3.05 kg (6 lb 11 oz), Cuisse: 0.91 kg (2 lb), Greave: 0.85 kg (1 lb 14 oz), Helmet: 3.39 kg (7 lb 7 oz), Collar: 1.45 cm (3 lb 3 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

On inside of breastplate: in cream paint: 7 lb (latter crossed through) 14 oz ; 9 over line over 3 ;On additional lame: B ; 8[2] (i.e. 82, the 2 uncertain)On waist-lame: 9 over 4 ; 2 [1] (i.e. 2 1, the 1 uncertain)On 1st lame of right tasset extension: 3 lb (latter crossed through) 9 oz; possible number on 1st lame of left tasset extension, but worn away.On inside of breast-reinforce: in cream paint: II over 82A On inside of backplate: in cream paint: 7 lb (latter crossed through) - 0 oz; 9 over line over 2 .On inside of left cuisse: V-notch construction marks: 1 and 2 on upper 1st and 2nd poleyn lames; 4 (possibly 6?) and 5 on lower 1st and 2nd lames.On inside of right cuisse: 1, 2 and 3 (possibly 4?) on main plate and 1st and 2nd poleyn lames; 1 on lower 1st lame; possibly 1 on lower 2nd lame. On inside of collar: 1st-3rd rear lames have construction marks I,II,III .

Associations

Bibliographic References

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