Artifact of the Day


Three-quarter field armor, possibly for Henry Herbert, second Earl of Pembroke (?1534-1601)

Northern Italy (Milan) (1560-70)

Close-helmet (a): 1-piece ovoid skull, with moderately high chisel-roped comb 2-part visor & 3 upwardly-overlapping gorget plates below. No gorget preserved. Breastplate (b): 1-piece "peascod" form, with gussets, pierced for a lance rest (lost). Backplate ©: 1 boxish piece presently fitted with riveted 1-piece culet. Tassets (d,e): decoration of tassets resemble that of skirt & breatplate, but associated. Oblong, trapezoidal shape, each with 10 lames. Pauldrons (f,g): (L) mainplate extends well over chest & shoulder-blade.® identical in form & construction & cut short for lance use. Vambraces (h,i): identical; consisting of closed upper cannons with riveted bracelet cowters, lower cannons hinged. Cuisses (j,k): one-piece mainplate curved to thigh, with laminated poleyns for use without greaves. Gauntlets (l,m):identical pair; fingered (scales lost), comprised of one-piece, flared pointed cuff riveted closed along inner face.

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. The microstructure consists of a mixture of ferrite and pearlite (corresponding to a low-carbon steel of around 0.3% C) with a few slag inclusions.