The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Buff coat
  • Buff coat
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • France
  • c. 1640
  • Deerskin
  • Length: 83.8 cm
    Diameter: 86.3 cm, waist
    Weight: 2.324 kg
  • A229
  • European Armoury III
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Buff coat, of stout deerskin, sleeveless, high waisted and with spreading skirts. It opens down the front where it is laced as far as the waist. The skirts are slit before and behind, where they overlap.

    Buff coats which were designed to resist sword-cuts were worn ubiquitously in the seventeenth century, at a time when metal plate armour was falling into disuse. In contemporary portraits it can often be seen worn with a cuirass and a silk sash. The buff coat of Colonel Hacker, who guarded the person of King Charles I during his trial and execution in 1649, was long preserved in the family of Earl Cathcart, and is now in the Royal Armouries (III.1301; Dufty & Reid, 1968, Pl. CXXVc). A buff coat c. 1670 preserved by the Isham family at Lamport Hall, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum. The buff coat worn by Viscount Dundee at the Battle of Killiekrankie (1689), is at Glamis Castle, Angus. There is an important group of buff-coats for troopers from Littlecote House, Wiltshire of the time of the Civil Wars, now in the Royal Armouries, and a later group, also unpublished, for infantrymen, in Rochester Museum, Kent.