The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Shaffron and crinet
  • Shaffron and crinet
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1570
  • Iron or steel, copper alloy, leather and gold, etched, gilded and embossed
  • Weight: 1.785 kg, shaffron
    Weight: 3.6 kg, crinet
  • A357
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Complete shaffron and crinet. The shaffron composed of eight pieces: a main plate, two pointed ear-guards, flanged eye-guards, check-pieces and nose-guard, all riveted together. It has a vertical ridge, embossed and roped down the middle; the nose-guard is similarly embossed; the central spike is cone-shaped and spirally fluted; above is fixed a plume-holder of brass incised with spiral fluting; the cheek-pieces retain portions of the leather straps secured by rosette-headed rivets; all the rivets on the piece are modern, but two fragments of the original leather strapping remain at the back; the top-plate of the crinet is attached to the shaffron and is secured to the remaining plates by keyhole slots.

    The decoration consists of curved bands (slightly sunk) etched with dolphins, grotesque birds, animals and nude figures, gilt on a blackened and granulated ground between roped borders, engrailed. The edges lightly roped with a file.

    The crinet is made up of twelve lames connected by sliding rivets and three longitudinal leathers, the top lame furnished with a stud and two turning-pins, the lowest is furnished with a buckle; and is pierced for a strap in the centre and has turned-under and roped edge. The borders have etched bands like those on the shaffron; each lame has a shallow boss over the ridge of the neck decorated with an armed figure, with trees in the background etched and gilt. Each lame has been marked on the inner side with a file to indicate its intended position in the series.

    A modern addition of a valance of mail of Oriental type on either side has now been removed; the links are small and joined by butting; brass and iron links form a zig-zag pattern, and the edges are dagged.