Artifact of the Day


Field armor from a garniture

North Italian (Milan) (about 1590)

Close-helmet (a) with 2-piece visor. 1-piece skull, with roped medium comb, and brass plume holder. Restored gorget (b) of 2 halves, pivoting on rivet & secured by stud in keyhole-shaped slot. Breastplate (c.1) of full-bellied "peascod" shape, dipping slightly below waist. Neck & armpit turns roped & without gussets. Single removable skirt lame (c.2). Removable lance rest (s). Restored backplate (d) of short, broad, rounded form. Single removable loin-guard. Straps at waist & buckles at shoulders. Tassets (e,f) of 6 lames each. Irregular trapezoidal form, rounded lower lame, low medial ridge. Cuisses (g,h) of 8 plates each, upper 2 articulated. Attached poleyns with small oval side-wing. Pauldrons (k,l) asymetrical, of 7 lames each, rounded in appearance. Full, riveted vambraces (m,n) with closed cowters. Greaves (i,j) of open form, hinged on outer face, with buckles & straps. Armor russeted & etched in diapered pattern of gilded arched cartouches framing either Medusa-like head, winged lightning bolt, or downturned trident with intertwined dolphins. Fingered gauntlets (o,p) with pointed, flared cuffs. Modern spurs (q,r) with large, 6-pointed rowels.

Preliminary findings by Dr. Alan Williams (Cambridge University, UK) of metallurgy of Higgins Armory Museum items
Based on tests conducted in the Fall of 1998, with comments provided on 23 February 1999
Steels, air-cooled

Helmet 6 lb. 11 oz.
Colletin 2 lb. 14 oz. (restored)
Breatplate w lance rest and skirt lame: 6 lb. 11 oz.
Backplate w loin guard (restored): 4 lb. 10 oz.
Tassets: R 1 lb. 10 oz. L 1 lb. 11 oz.
Cuisses R 1 lb. 11 oz, L 1 lb. 13 oz.
Greaves: 3 lb. 4 oz each
Pauldrons: R 2 lb. 14 oz.: L 3 lb.
Vambraces: R 2 lb. 5 oz.: 2 lb. 6 oz.
Gauntlets R 1 lb. 4 oz., L 1 lb. 5 oz.
Spurs (restored/associated): 5 oz. each