Breastplate

423.c

Description

This is of the long-bellied form with waistlame so popular during the mid-16th century. The curved neck and armpit gussets articulate inwardly turned, engrailled edges. The restored gussets articulate on rivets above and below. At each shoulder is a restored brass buckle for the backplate straps. The breastplate has a low medial ridge which projects slightly forward to the waist. On the upper right of the breast is fitted a screw-attached, pivoted restored lance-rest. The lower edge of the breasplate mainplate is slightly bevelled, and overlaps a rounded deep waistlame to which it is articulated by restored rivets at either side and at the medial line. The lame dips slightly below the waist, and is finished with a narrow flange to which is riveted a fauld of two upwardly overlapping lames. The topmost of this works on restored sliding-rivets at the ends. The lames conform to the "spring" of the hips, and narrow in depth towards the groin. The basal lame is roundedly arched on its lower edge where it is finished as the neck and armpits. This lame is presently fitted with a triple set of straps on each side for the buckles on the tassets. In addition to partially-punched empty holes, the fauld also has rivets on their mounts for internal leathers of permanent tassets belown. These holes align well with the upper groups of tasset lames now attached to the laminate cuisses. Bordering the neck on both gussets, and on the sides and fork of the fauld lames are repousseed and etched bands of alternating blackened and gilded voluted foliate lobated interlocked motives filled with tendrils, on a stippled ground. These are framed by shallow recessed plain bands with gilded candelabrum or undulating running-vine motives, themselves edged by thin etched blackened lines. A similar band decorates the waistline. Extending along the medial line, and from the armpits, down across the fauld lames are broad bands also repousseed and etched, These however, are decorated with a repeated pattern consisting of a blackened oval cartouche filled with foliate tendrils. In the center is a recessed lobated lozenge with a candelabrum treatment of leaved tendrils. All of the decoration is on stippled ground and is formed by recessed bands similar to those noted above. Gilding is modern. Restored gussets and waistlames (2 separate stages of restoration). Tassets used to have ridging at bottom, now flattened to accommodate tasset extensions. Interior of lames has 2 sets of scratched letters: L & R visible on each lame, and slightly fainter L1-L5 and R1-R5.

Curator's Comments

This belongs with the tassets/cuisses and the upper portion of the left greave. All are from the field armor made for Stephanus Doria in 1551 by Anton Peffenhauser of Augsburg, and etched by Joerg T. Sorg the Younger,. Doria served Duke Charles III of Savoy (1504-1553), and after 1557 was supreme commander of Genoese troops. A relative of the famous admiral Andra Doria, Stephanus died in 1580.

Publication & Exhibit History

Susan Milbrath and Jerald T. Milanich, "First Encounters: An Exhibit Guide" (Gainesville: Florida Museum of Natural History, 1990), p. 31, ill. (breastplate only). Walter J. Karcheski, Jr., "Arms and Armor of the Conquistador" (Gainesville: Florida Museum of Natural History), cat. #3, ill. (breastplate only).

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