Object Title

Breastplate

Breastplate

Date

1916

Object Number

III.2577

Provenance

Old Tower Collection. Middle Flint Tower (1987)

Physical Description

A set of German body armour comprising breastplate and three lower plates, all made of nickel steel. The breastplate comprises a single shaped plate with two curved shoulder pieces, each of which is held in place by three countersunk rivets with domed heads. The design relies on the weight of the armour to hold it in place on the wearer's shoulders and no other form of retaining is used, permitting quick removal. The breastplate has a slightly raised neck to protect the throat, and is curved around the torso to aid deflection of projectiles. The sides of the plate are scalloped slightly at the waist to help movement. There are two domed rivets at chest height which retain a pair of internally mounted suspension rings to which the hanging straps would be fitted for the lower three protective plates. These lower plates comprise a large, rectangular second plate, smaller rectangular third plate and 'D' shaped bottom plate, which would provide protection for respectively, the lower torso, stomach and groin areas. The second and third plates are both slightly curved to enable them to sit inside each other when secured to the mounting straps, and each plate has two holes on either side of its upper lip to enable it to be laced to the strap. Although missing on this example, the straps normally comprise two thin lengths of webbing or canvas each of which has three horsehair pads that are stitched in place. The lower plates are retained by leather laces passed through holes in the straps. These are then threaded through the holes drilled in each plate. The pads prevent the plates from banging against each other. The armour is painted field-grey and while this appears to be an original paint finish, it has been applied over some pitting. Overall condition is good with no visible corrosion.

Dimensions

Weight: Overall weight:

Inscriptions and Marks

None visible.

Associations

Places Germany