Royal Armouries

Composite ‘Maximilian’ Armour

Images

colour photo of full-length armour with fluted decoration

Composite armour. German, about 1520 (II.14, III.755)

  • colour photo of full-length armour with fluted decoration

    Composite armour. German, about 1520 (II.14, III.755)

  • monochrome photo of an armour helmet

    Close helmet from a composite 'Maximilian' armour. German, about 1520 (II.12)

Date: 1520 | Object number: II.14, III.755

Statistics

Object Provenance: German, about 1520
Object Number: II.14, III.755
Overall mounted height: 1760 mm (69.3 in)
Width: 800 mm (31.5 in)

Composite ‘Maximilian’ Armour

Description

The close helmet is formed of a skull with an articulated tail of three lames, a bellows visor and bevor, both articulated by the same pivots. The skull is fluted at the rear, with a central flute extending to the brow, and is encircled around the nape of the neck with a row of lining rivets, with two pairs of holes for points adjusting the lining at either side. The main edges are plain. The bevor is secured by a spring catch at the right side. The visor has a divided sight, and has three rows of four horizontal breaths side below it. The gorget is composed of a main plate with three lames above, front and rear, the main plates decorated with fluting.

The breastplate is globose, with recessed borders and heavy roped inward turns at the arms and neck. It has holes for a lance rest at the right, and is decorated with sprays of flutes. At either shoulder is an iron buckle with a rectangular frame. The breastplate overlaps a wasp-like waist plate, to which is riveted a restored fauld and tassets. The fauld is of three lames, overlapping upwards, articulated by rivets at either end, and modern black leathers at either side. The lowest fauld lame has an arch with a roped turn at its lower centre, and has a tasset of four lames permanently riveted at either side. The fauld and tassets are embossed with sprays of flutes. The tasset lames are riveted at the outside, with two narrow, modern black leathers at the centre and inside. The backplate is in one piece, with a flat top, decorated with a single, wide spray of flutes ion the main plate, and three sprays of flutes on the associated culet.

Each vambrace is formed of a spaudler of four lames, overlapping away from the second lame and decorated with sprays of flutes, a vambrace with plain upper cannon with a turner, couter with large, detachable, fluted wing, the point of the elbow decorated with an embossed cinqfoil, and a lower cannon with flutes at the rear. The mitten gauntlets have short cuffs, four metacarpal lames and a main plate to which hinged thumb defences are attached, knuckle plates and four finger lames.

The cuisses are composed of main plates with turned and roped upper edges, decorated with three sprays of flutes. Matching detachable upper plates are secured by pierced studs and swivel hooks. The poleyns have heart-shaped wings decorated with sprays of flutes, and have articulating lames above and below connecting them to the cuisse and a wide lower poleyn plate, all decorated with a central band of fluting. The lowest edge has a turn and recessed border.

The greaves are modern. Each is plain, formed of front and rear plates extending to the base of the heel, joined by hinges at the outside and spring studs at the inside, with permanently attached sabatons of eight lames, overlapping away from the broad central lame, the last lame widened and embossed with spirals at either side, and all fluted. The exterior is polished bright throughout.

Possibly purchased at Oxenham’s on 21 July 1842, lot 251 Displayed in bay 7 in the New Horse Armoury by 1877

Publications

Statistics

Object Provenance: German, about 1520
Object Number: II.14, III.755
Overall mounted height: 1760 mm (69.3 in)
Width: 800 mm (31.5 in)

Related Objects

Composite ‘Maximilian’ Armour Click on the title link above to find out more.

Dates from 1520 | Object number: II.12

Thomas Quellin(us) and the Horse Armoury Click on the title link above to find out more.

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