Royal Armouries

Corslet

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Object number: II.48

Statistics

Object Provenance: Italian, about 1570
Object Number: II.48

Corslet

Description

The cuirass of this half armour is of one-piece construction, with a fauld of two lames attached at the waist of the breastplate to which tassets of eleven lames are attached by straps and buckles.

The arm defences comprise full pauldrons, with wide main plates with two lames above and three below, and vambraces comprising an upper cannon with a turner, a bracelet couter attached by two articulating lames above and below, and lower cannons hinged at the rear and with pin catches at the front.

The helmet is a ‘Spanish’ morion with a swept brim, the type of helmet most commonly used with these armours. The gorget is English, from a pikeman’s armour of the early 17th century. The remainder of the armour is simply etched with bands of foliage, medallions containing scenes from Classical antiquity and stylised portrait heads.

Such etched decoration is often called ‘Pisan’ though there is no evidence to suggest that it was associated with that town, and was most probably done in Milan or Brescia. The cuirass and pauldrons are also embossed with ribs ending in scrolling volutes, another decorative motif borrowed from Classical art.

This armour was displayed on a wooden cross between two of the mounted figures in the 19th century Line of Kings.

From the armoury of the Knights of St John, Malta, purchased 1826,

References

J. Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859: 15, II.61
Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Armouries, Tower of London, London, 1910: 152, II.67

Statistics

Object Provenance: Italian, about 1570
Object Number: II.48

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