The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Bevor
  • Matthes Deutsch (active between: c. 1484- c.1510) , Armourer
  • Germany
  • c. 1480
  • Medium-carbon steel, tempered
  • Weight: 1.1 kg
  • Armourer's mark: Matthes Deutsch
    Mark: Landshut guild mark
  • A193
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • The German and west European sallets of the fifteenth century only protected the face to the level of the nose or upper lip. The lower face was either left uncovered or was protected with a bevor, the term deriving from the Norman French verb baver or baaver, meaning to dribble or slaver. The name of this part of the fifteenth-century knights armour is unusually well deserved. Used as a noun the same word could also refer to a bib. Rather than protecting against dribbling however, the ‘armoured bib’ can make the wearer look as though he is drooling. When worn for long periods, the wearer’s breath condenses on the interior surface of the plates, the moisture then gathering and running down the neck- and breastplates. Many bevors were made with a solid chin-plate extending up above the mouth and sometimes also covering the nose. The difficulty with the design was that the piece had to be removed completely if the wearer needed to eat, drink or simply get more air. This example however includes a pivoted upper plate held in the raised position by a spring-pin. When the pin is depressed, the upper plate drops down to expose the nose and mouth. Made by the Landshut master Matthes Deutsch, it was probably once worn with a sallet of very similar form to one by the same master in the Metropolitan Museum (c. 1490; Inv. 29.150.89).