The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Jousting armour
  • Jousting armour
  • Workshop of Anton Peffenhauser (c. 1525 - 1603)
  • Augsburg, Germany
  • c. 1590
  • Steel, leather, copper alloy, silk and linen, filed and pierced
  • Weight: 33.47 kg, total weight
  • Mark: Pearled 'A'
    Mark: Augsburg guild
    Mark: Three crescent-shaped marks
  • A49
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Of the seven composite armours from the Peffenhauser workshop in the Wallace Collection, this one is the most correct and consistent in terms of its typology, with all parts having been designed for the late 16th-century iteration of the German joust in the Italian fashion, or Plankengestech (the one exception is the left gauntlet, which is of the special type used only in foot combats at the barriers). The ‘Planke’ was the wooden barrier, as tall as the horses, which separated the two charging jousters, to prevent them from colliding. The aim was to strike the opponent as forcefully and accurately as possible, on either the shield or the front of the helmet. For this reason both the steel shield covering the left side of the body and the close-helmet are very strongly built. The helmet in particular is very thick and heavy and designed to fasten down to the body armour. In the rear the neck extension of the helmet skull bolts to the backplate which has been specially extended up to the middle of the neck. At the front, the thick base-plate of the helmet bevor is punched with four wide holes to take thick bolts which screw directly into the thick metal of the breastplate underneath. The shield also bolts down to the neck and chest, its bolts passing through the neck-plate before meeting the breastplate itself.

    The shield in this style of joust was sleek and smooth, with no ridges to catch the opponent’s lance. This design indicates a joust with a purposefully increased level of difficulty, where the gaining of purchase was very difficult. Only a perfectly-aimed blow would strike well. If the aim was even only slightly off, the lance would skate off and deny a good strike. Skating lances could however present quite a hazard, slipping off the shield into some more vulnerable area. The base of the helmet’s bevor therefore includes an integral flange protecting the right shoulder from accidental injury by lances deflecting across the body.