A breastplate with attached tassets

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A breastplate with attached tassets

These pieces form the principal components of the iron armour of a pikeman. He would also have worn a backplate, a gorget at the throat, and a helmet, but not the elaborate protection of legs, arms and shoulders worn by cavalry. Armour such as this was of ordinary 'munition' quality; a pikeman wearing it would have fought with a pike 18 feet or so long. The breastplate has a pronounced central ridge to deflect blows. At the chest are swivel hooks which still hold the ends of the straps of the backplate. Attached to the skirt are hinges, to which the tassets, each of six overlapping plates, are fixed. The suit dates to c. 1640-5.

Acknowledgments: © 2015 Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Exeter City Council

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