Lame for right tasset
Steel. Topmost lame of right tasset. Convexly shaped to the body, & of generally trapezoidal form. Lower left (inner) corner is cut away to form arch of fork, & is hollow-flanged. Upper edge of plate is plain, & outwardly turned. This is bordered below with wide, shallow band, slightly raised at its basal edge. Narrow, but pronounced medial ridge extends from this point down face of plate. Top & side edges are punched with holes for now-lost buckles & rivets. Comparisons with intact examples suggest that the complete tasset was of three lames, slightly tapering in size, producing a pointed or slightly rounded trapezoidal form, similar to the previous "late Gothic" types of single plate construction.
Tassets of this general outline may be noted as early as ca. 1450 (e.g., that of Friedrich der Siegreiche at Vienna, A.2), but articulated examples appear during the last decade of the century. The form persisted through the first third of the sixteenth century and can be seen on some Italian jousting armours as late as the third quarter of the period (e.g. G. 176-177 at Paris). The character of this piece suggests that it might conceivably be from Rhodes. Other pieces of this form may be seen on armors in the Musee de l'Armee, Paris (G.7, a milanese piece by Niccolo Silva, ca. 1510-15-- see Boccia, et al., fig. 94), the MMA (#14.25.718, probably Italian, ca. 1495-1500-- Riggs Benefaction; see Granscay, catalogue number 1), the KHM Vienna ( Armour of King Ferdinand of Aragon and Sicily, by the Italo-Spanish master "IP", ca. 1500--A. 5, pp.119-120, plts. 52-53 of the 1976 catalogue. N.B.: While similar in form, these tassets are of one-piece construction); a jousting harness of Philip the Fair, possibly Flemish, ca. 1500 (A.16, plate 15a), another for Charles V, ca. 1526 (A.101, plate 20), and the "KD" harness, German, 1517 (A.19, plates 20/20a) all in Calvert (plates given above), and de Valencia's Catalogue…of 1898, and the Real Armeria Madrid. While detached examples are in the Armoury of the Tollemache family at Helmingham Hall, Suffolk(# 9 and 10). These are similar but lack the sunken band border above, and have inward turns, a broadly-triangular medial ridge, and each plate is more parrallelogram in form. See Poldi Pezzoli catalogue with a single, detached left tasset, possible German or Italian, of early 16th century origin (inv. #2482-- See Collura/Molfino, p.55, catalogue #330). This type of tasset was fashionable in Italy, Flanders, France, Spain, and England. Such tassets were apparently widely used throughout Western Europe and England, and if the Rhodes affiliation is correct, by Westerners in garrisons there.
Stephen V. Grancsay, "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor" (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum, 1953), cat. no. 1, Metropolitan accession number 14.25.718, ill.
Domenico Collura and Mottola Molfino, "Armi e Armature," Cataloghi del Museo Poldi Pezzoli (Milan: Museo Poldi Pezzoli, 1980), p. 55, cat. no. 330 (inv. #2482).
Albert F. Calvert, "Spanish Arms and Armour" (London: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1907), plts.: 15a (A.16), 20 (A.101, A.19), 20a (A.19).
Lionello G. Boccia, Francesco Rossi and Marco Morin, " Armi e Armature Lombarde" (Milan: Gruppo Editoriale Electa, 1980), fig. 94, (Musée de l'armée G.7).