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English Civil War Period Pikeman Armour

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Price: £6,750 Including Stand and Buff Coat

Ref: 054.16

Item Description

A composite English Pikeman Armour dating to the mid 17th century.  Typically the armour consists of a breast plate, back plate, gorget, tassets and comb helmet with a wide brim. The armour is in generally good condition for its age and type. The surfaces of the component parts exhibit a consistent surface patination both inside and out.

The helmet is formed from two thinly beaten pieces of iron folded together over a high comb above the skull and riveted together at the brim front and back where both sides merge to a point. The wide brim slopes either side and is folded at the hem inside which 31 domed rivets have been applied. Inside on one side is a punched letter “A”, now worn, and similar to an armourers mark which appears on other helmets of this type (see ” The London Armourers of the 17th Century”, Thom Richardson, Royal Armouries 2004). Between the brim and the comb, either side of the skull, a decorative panel is incised with parallel lines. The base of the skull is surrounded with a band of 22 further domed rivets which once secured a liner.

The breastplate is typically formed with folded moulded edges to the arms and neck. The plate has a pronounced vertical medial ridge to the front and a flared skirt. An armoury number of “118” is applied between the neck rim and an incised line at the front which follows the contour of the rim, together with a later “IR” mark with crown above, which is the arsenal mark of the Tower Armoury in the reign of James II.

The backplate is marked with a deeply struck letter “C” representing an unknown armourer whose mark is known elsewhere (see Richardson pages 30 to 35). The plates are fastened over the shoulders either side with strips of thick leather, fastened to the back plate with rivets,  protected by small studded plates and fastened to the front with swivel hooks over studs. The higher neck area is protected by a gorget formed of two parts, front and back, with a swivel rivet on one side and fastening hook and stud on the other. The tassets are formed from single pieces of plate embossed to simulate articulated lames of earlier type – seven either side – mounted with rows of domed studs. The tassets are secured to the skirt with hinges.

For further examples of these armours see ” Littlecote – The English Civil War Armoury”, Thom Richardson and Graeme Rimer, Royal Armouries, 2012. Generally the armour is in fine display condition.

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