The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cuirass
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1500 - c. 1520
  • Low-carbon steel, quenched, fluted
  • Weight: 3.74 kg, breastplate
    Weight: 2.54 kg, backplate
  • A215
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Cuirass, of strong build, with slight central ridge, the top edge strongly flanged to a triangular section, the arm-holes fitted with gussets similarly flanged and attached by sliding rivets. It is embossed in low relief with curved flutes radiating from the centre near the waist. A skirt of four lames is attached. The lowest lame of the skirt is pierced along its lower edge by a series of small holes, presumably either for a lining or for a leather to support a mail skirt. It is also pierced with four pairs of holes for straps for the tassets. The lowest lame of the rear skirt is embossed with a broad raised band decorated with diagonal ridges. Along the lower edge of this lame are seven rivets with flat circular heads inside decorated in typical Italian style, as in front, either for the lining or for a mail skirt. Four holes for a lance-rest have been drilled on the right side at a later date. The holes for the lance-rest were originally drilled on the wrong side, presumably by accident. Backplate with a skirt of three plates decorated with sunken, radiating flutes, the outer ones ending in volutes, the lower one retaining seven old rivets with decorated heads. There are buckles at the shoulders and at the waist.

    See Mann, Archaeologia, LXXIX (1929), p. 228, Pl. LXXIII, where this breast is compared with one in a painting by Rondani. See also the pair of cuisses A289-90, which may belong to this cuirass.