The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Grandguard
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Greenwich, England
  • c. 1580
  • Steel
  • Height: 51.75 cm
    Weight: 3.812 kg
  • A249
  • European Armoury III
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Grand-guard for the joust of peace, of bright steel, formed of four parts riveted together, and designed to cover the left shoulder, the left side of the visor and the chest. The right side of the face plate is cut away in a curve, and the border is turned outwards at right-angles in a strong flange, an inch in depth. A double engraved line accompanies the border at this part. The grand-guard extends as far as the right shoulder, where it is thrown slightly forwards. There is a pointed extension riveted at the bottom and pierced with a rectangular slot for bolting to the breast. It is of different metal from the rest and probably replaces an original piece of the same form. The lamination of the metal plates is apparent in several places.

    It corresponds in form with the grand-guards supplied as double pieces for the tilt with many of the armours made in the royal workshops at Greenwich (see A62). Note especially for comparison such details as the patch riveted to the left shoulder with the piece cut out for the strap, and the metal strap hinged to the left side of the face-guard. Compare the complete grand-guard of the Cumberland armour (Met. Mus. Bulletin, XXXI (1936), p. 233), that on the armour of Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, in the Royal Armouries (II.81), and the series of plain ones (III.866-9).

    The lower edge of the slot in the left extension plate, by which the link to the pin on the left couter was attached, has been broken away.
    For a plain tilt-armour like those in the Royal Armouries, now white but probably originally all blued, see Dufty & Reid, 1968, Pl. LII.