Royal Armouries

Elephant armour


A 17th century elephant armour from India

  • A 17th century elephant armour from India

Date: about 1600 | Object number: XXVIA.102

Elephant armour


This fabulous 17th century armour is composed of 5,840 plates and weighs 118kg, some plates are missing and originally the total number would be 8,439 and weigh 159kg! The tusk swords that accompany this armour (not on display) weigh in at 10kg.

It is the only animal armour of this scale on public display and recently entered the Guinness Book of Records as the largest animal armour in the world.

Acquired in India by Lady Clive, wife of Edward, 2nd Lord Clive (Governor of Madras), between 1798 and 1800, and brought back to England in 1801; displayed in the Elephant Room at Powis Castle. Placed on loan to the Armouries in 1949 for conservation.

Presented to the nation in lieu of death duty by the Earl of Powis in 1962 and placed in the care of the Armouries.

There is a copy of this armour, made in England, in a private collection in America.

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