Artifact of the Day


Vambrace (left)

Southern Germany or Austria (1600-1625)

The vambrace consists of a bracelet couter, which overlaps a set of narrow laminations above and below which are riveted together and to the upper and lower cannons. The lower cannon, which may be associated, is cylindrical, and of a nearly imperceptible "tulip" shape (perhaps about 1620?). It consists of two halves, hinged once along the inner face and closed shut by a pin catch opposite. The halves taper to the rearwardly angled opening for the hand, which has an inwardly turned, closely roped edge. The hinged plate is curved out at the bend of the arm, with a low, outward plain turn. The narrow laminations linking the couter to the cannons have bevelled edges, pointed at the ends, and rise slightly in low lobes at the rivets within. These rivets are domed, of iron, and generally without washers.

The couter is rounded at the point of the elbow, and draws into low points above and below at the medial line. The tendon-protector has large lobes inside and out, and a pronounced pucker as it passes across the bend of the arm to a riveted join on the inside. The pucker is accented by a thin incised, transverse line. The edges of the protector are inwardly turned and closely file-roped.

The cylindrical upper cannon is of two rotating halves riveted closed along one side and overlapping downward. There is an arched opening at the bend of the elbow. The flanged turner of the lower half rotates in an embossed, roped turner. The upper half is low, and rises over the outside of the arm and is fitted with a riveted pair of curved, narrow laminations pointed at the ends. On the top of the uppermost lame are rivets with leather fragments from a tab for points. Riveted at the join opposite is a restored leather loop for the pauldron strap. The opening at the top, for the arm, is inwardly turned over a wire and roped.