The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Falling buffe
  • Falling buffe
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany, probably North German, possibly Brunswick
  • probably mid 16th century
  • Steel, embossed
  • Weight: 0.57 kg
  • A197
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Falling buffe, designed to be worn with a burgonet. Made up of three plates. The upper plate has a turned-over and roped edge with a row of lining holes below; the right side is pierced with cruciform apertures, the left with round holes in groups of four; the two upper (falling) plates are each kept in place by a spring-catch; the bottom plate, shaped to the chin, is without piercings and has a hinge at the right side for attachment to the burgonet. There is a vertical bar of diamond section behind the falling-plates to give protection to the face when they were lowered. This vertical bar is riveted to the lower plate. The surface is embossed in low relief with flat, conventional leaves, which suggests that this piece belonged to a black-and-white armour. The gorget-plate or plates are missing.

    A North German origin of this piece is suggested by the presence of a narrow embossed band running only a short distance below the upper edge of the top place, to emphasise the border. This band draws down to a point in the middle of the face, along the medial ridge. Such narrow bands of 'bracket' form are characteristic of North German armour of this period.