Artifact of the Day


Ceremonial half-armor with “repousee” decoration

France (1550-1575)

The armor is lacking helmet, collar, gauntlets and leg defenses (if these were ever fitted).

Cuirass unrelated to the other components displayed. Breastplate and backplate were cut down to present, short, slightly dipped form. Both embossed overall with classical figures & Mannerist decorations. Central motif is of Mars & Venus, other decorations include putti, stags, classically armed warriors blowing trumpets. Waist lame embossed with similar motives. Tassets: oblong form, concave to body, & of 7 lames slightly recurved on inner edges, & overlapping to waist. Tassets have nearly identical decoration of armed warriors, snails & vegetation. Arm defenses unrelated to above except in general design & decorative motives. Borders at cuffs, elbow-openings, couters & pauldron edges have simple etched intertwined guilloche. Pauldrons are symmetrical; rounded, consisting of main-lame with 3 lames above & 4 below, all overlapping away from mainplate. Riveted vambrace "tulip" shape, of 2 hinged halves with bracelet cowters. Decoration of arms is near-identical to other elements.