The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Three-quarter armour
  • Three-quarter armour
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Augsburg, Germany
  • c. 1620
  • Low-carbon steel and copper alloy, engraved
  • Weight: 2.1 kg, helmet
    Weight: 0.974 kg, gorget
    Weight: 5.2 kg, breastplate
    Weight: 2.438 kg, backplate
    Weight: 0.51 kg, garde-rein
    Weight: 1.43 kg, pauldron (left)
    Weight: 1.02 kg, pauldron (right)
    Weight: 1.119 kg, arm (left)
    Weight: 1.08 kg, arm (right)
    Weight: 0.467 kg, gauntlet (left)
    Weight: 0.481 kg, gauntlet (right)
    Weight: 1.74 kg, tasset (left)
    Weight: 1.686 kg, tasset (right)
  • Mark: three small dots
    Inscription: '10' Arsenal number
    Inscription: '42'
    Inscription: '13' Incised arsenal number
    Inscription: '65'
    Mark: Eight dots in two rows Punched
  • A65
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This armour is one of a large series of three-quarter cuirassier armours made for the military forces of Bavaria in the early 17th century. Other surviving examples from the same series are now in the Bayerisches Armeemuseum, Ingolstadt and the Royal Ontario Museum, in Toronto. Like the others of its group, this one originally had a 'black-from-the-hammer' finish, but was polished bright comparatively recently, almost certainly in the 19th century. The armour as it is now has clearly been composed using parts from at least two armours in the same series, indicated by the fact that both vambraces are for the right arm, with one turned round and mounted backwards on the left side.

    The right side of the breastplate carries a so-called 'proof-mark', a bullet-dent made to indicate that the armour had been certified as bullet-proof. However recent investigation has proved that many such marks, including this particular example, were created using only a partial charge of gunpowder in the proving weapon, in order to present the armour as being more protective than it really was. In reality this armour probably would not stop a direct shot.