The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parts of an armour
  • Parts of an armour
  • Pompeo della Cesa (c. 1537-8 - 1610)
  • Milan, Italy
  • c. 1590
  • Steel, gold, leather and copper alloy, etched and gilt.
  • Weight: 3 kg, helmet
    Weight: 3.87 kg, breastplate and fauld
    Weight: 0.94 kg, pauldron (left)
    Weight: 1.08 kg, pauldron (right)
    Weight: 1.57 kg, vambrace (left)
    Weight: 1.38 kg, vambrace (right)
    Weight: 1.21 kg, cuisse (left)
    Weight: 0.93 kg, cuisse (right)
    Weight: 2.94 kg, grandguard
    Weight: 0.61 kg, ventral reinforce
    Weight: 0.35 kg, gardbrace
  • Inscription: 'POMPEO' Engraved
  • A59
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Unlike the German version of the ‘Italian’ joust, which featured a broad grandguard (see A47, A48, A49), with the lower edge curving away from the body in the manner of older jousting shields, the reinforcing plates on genuinely Italian jousting armours were closely moulded to the shape of the body. Although it is now quite incomplete, the core elements of this armour (cuirass, pauldrons, vambraces, reinforcing plates and cuisses) are fine examples of the form of 16th-century Italian jousting armour. The reinforcing plates for the left side of the body are held in place with bolts that thread directly into the thick steel of the breast, which has been tapped to accept them. The lower left bolt secures both the bottom of the grandguard and the additional ventral plate, worn over the grandguard on the left side of the abdomen; this area is thus protected by three layers of steel. The left vambrace also strongly built in one piece without a turning joint. The left upper cannon is also somewhat heavier (+.19 kg) than the right. The right pauldron is heavily reinforced, which is not usually the case on German interpretations of equipment of the same essential style.

    This armour also has various other disparate pieces associated with it, most prominently a close-helmet for the field which does not belong. Not only is it for war rather than the joust, it is also decorated with an entirely different decorative scheme. The gauntlets, tassets, greaves and sabatons are all modern restorations, and have now been removed.