The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Arm defence
  • Arm defence
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • probably 19th century (probably a reconstruction in the style of the first half of the 15th century)
  • Iron or steel
  • Weight: 1.45 kg
  • A243
  • Reserve Gallery
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • These arms, of simple form, extend from the shoulder and including gauntlets. They cover only the outer side of the arm in each case. There are three lames at the shoulder of the right arm, and two only remain on the left; these are attached in each case to a long gutter-shaped rerebrace; then comes a couter with a circular boss in the centre of the humerus, and a rondel similarly embossed protecting the bend of the elbow joint. A couter is articulated to both the upper and lower arms by a narrow lame above and below it; below this couter comes a gutter-shaped vambrace; finally a gauntlet consisting of a cuff (outer side only), and metacarpal plate slightly embossed towards the knuckles, articulated to each other by two lames at the wrist.
    The surface is oxidized and now black. The left arm is in less good condition than the right, lacking the top rounded lame at the shoulder; this rerebrace is also corroded into holes. The parts are articulated to each other by sliding rivets working in vertical slots in the centre, but there is no horizontal slot, such as is found on later slatted arms, to allow the elbow joint to turn laterally. For this reason it has been suggested they might have been made for a statue and not for human wear, but in that case the slots for the sliding rivets would be unnecessary. Made in the nineteenth century, in the style of the late fourteenth or early fifteenth century.