The Italian bard
Dates from about 1515 | Greenwich or Southwark (probably by Italian craftsmen) | Object number: VI.14–16
This Horse armour was made up of several parts. The peytral protected the horse’s chest and the crupper its rear and tail. The flanks were protected by a pair of flanchards. A shaffron protected the horse’s head and a crinet its neck (both now missing from this bard).
Did you know?
- This ‘Italian’ bard is possibly one of the few surviving objects made by the Italian armourers headed by Filippo de Grampis and Giovanni Angelo de Littis, who were employed in Henry VIII’s royal workshops from 1511.
- The large embossed domes fitted over the horse’s shoulders, while the embossed sprays of fluting are purely ornamental. Badges of King Henry VIII – portcullises (defensive drop-gates) and Tudor roses decorate the armour.
- The pairs of holes around the armour were for attaching a padded lining for safety and comfort. The arched stirrups allowed the foot to slide through cleanly and not get caught if the jouster was unhorsed.
- The saddle with its saddle steels that were decorated for Henry VIII is later. The steels were made at the royal armour workshop at Greenwich in 1544-45.
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