These items were chosen to illustrate the topics of the demonstrations at The Forging, 2018. The third official annual gathering of the United League of Armourers in Salt Lake City UT Aug xx-Septxx 2018. Specifically these items illustrate:


Bottom plates from a pair of German Tassets

Bottom plates from a pair of German Tassets circa 1520-30

of bright steel embossed and engraved in imitation of the slashed civilian clothing of the period. Each curved to the shape of the thigh, the lower edge (cracked) boldy roped and bordered by a recessed border defined by 2 ridges. The upper edge cusped in the center. Domed brass rivets replaced. Height 5 inches (12.8 cm).

Provenance F.H. Cripps-Day.

Exhibited Wilmer House Museum, Farnham, 3-29 April 1962, No. 8. [inv. num. A-29]

Tasset terminal plate

Tasset terminal plate circa 1505

German. Rectangular form with widely spaced radiating flutes. Flutes with parallel incised lines on each side except for the outer-most flute which is formed as a step and only has one incised line. Upper edge bevelled, lower edge with recessed border and simple ridge simulating a roll. Holes indicate this plate was originally attached ot the other plates by a sliding rivet at the outer edge and an interior leather at the center and inner edge.

4 1/4in. tall.

Thickness varies between .060in, and .035in. Generally between .050 and .045, thinning toward the bottom and inner end. Weight 7.4 oz (205g) [inv. num. A-129]

Pair of tasset lower plates

Pair of tasset lower plates circa 1580

Narrow rolled decoration with fine roping. Short sections of sunk border with additional recessed flute. Embossed decoration. Black ground with polished raised decoration of stylized leaves, vines and zoomorphic heads. [inv. num. A-30]

Tasset end plate

Tasset end plate circa 1580

Single plate. Inward turned roll around the bottom edge extending up the sides. 2 keyhole slots at the top for attachment to the upper tasset plates. Embossed and recessed decoration with etching. Recessed border around the edge with etching. Central band of etching. Purportedly from the Madrid Real Armeria after the Spanish Civil War (according to the seller), also attributed possibly to the Lisbon armoury. [inv. num. A-150]


Spaulder circa 1530

Possibly Landshut. Formed of 6 plates, the 2nd overlapping the first and the lower plates. Fluted overall in 4 sets of 3 flutes each. Bands separated by flat areas etched with running foliage and a bird a female figure. The top plate with a plain turn and recessed border which continue onto the to of the second plate. The next 3 plates with plain ends. The final plate with a heavily roped inward-turned roll on the bottom edge and a pair of horizontal flutes. All flutes accented with parallel engraved lines, one on each side of the flute. Retaining its original buckle at the bottom front corner of nice form. Ex. Coll. Dr. John Waldman. 10 3/8 in tall. 1 ound 5.8 ounces (615g). Thickness .030-.050, mainly closer to .040. [inv. num. A-147]


Arm circa 1430

Extremely rare example of a 15th c. piece of armour. Arm for the left arm. Perhaps from the fortress at Chalcis (Negroponte). Formed of a tubular upper cannon that wraps two thirds of the way around the arm connected to a bluntly-pointed cop with an abbreviated wing by one lame. The cop is then connected to a tulip-shaped vambrace formed of two pieces hinged on the outside by hinges and secured by a strap and buckle on the inside. The cop is connected to the vambrace by two lames. The second lame is attached to the vambrace by means of 3 lateral slots allowing the arm to rotate. The lower edge of the vambrace is bordered by a line of small rivets. The lower cannon is marked by an indistinct maker's mark involving a split cross. The upper edge of the upper plate with a narrow, outward-turned roll and a line of rivets securing a (later) leather used to lace the armour to the arming doublet. The inner plate of the vambrace, one lame, lisiere d'arret, one half of one hinge, and all of the rivets replaced. The character of these restorations is similar to the restorations on the Rhodes pieces in the Royal Armouries. Given Claude Blair's association with the Royal Armouries and the presence of the letters HRR on the inside of the inner vambrace plate it is likely that this piece was restored there (HRR almost certainly represents H. Russell Robinson). From the personal collection of Claude Blair. For similar examples see Stephen V. Granscay, The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armour...., 1933, nos. 76-81, pl. V. The most detailed record of the pieces discovered at Chalcis see C. J Ffoulkes, An Italian Armour from Chalcis in the Ethnological Museum at Athens, Archaeologia, LXII (1911) pp. 381-390.

Measurements 39 cm long. The arm is 15 in. long overall when straight, upper cannon 5 1/2 in. tall at the center of the cop, 4 5/16 in. wide at the top, 4 3/16 in. wide at the bottom. The upper cannon is 8 1/8 in. around the circumference. The roll at the top of the upper cannon is 1/8 in. tall and 3/16 in. deep. Lower cannon 7 1/4 in. long at the center of the cop, 3 7/8 in. wide at the elbow, 2 5/8 in. wide at the wrist. The cop 3 1/4 in. tall at the center, 2 in. tall at the wing, 1 1/2 in. tall at the back. The slots in the vambrace for rotation are 5/8 in. wide. The hinges are 3/4 in. wide, the upper one is 1 3/8 in. long. The inside measurements of the buckle are 3/4 in. on the wide side of the trapezoid, 5/8 in. on the short side and 5/16 in. tall. The thickness varies significantly. The upper cannon is .040-.090 in., mostly .050-.070 in. The thickest part in the center. The cop is .050-060 on the back and .070-.080 on the front. The outer plate of the lower cannon is generally .070-.080 in the upper center and .050-.060 near the wrist. The upper lame is app. .030 in. and the lower one .040 in.

Weight 2 pounds 7.2 ounces (1,110 g). [inv. num. A-186]


Arm early 17th c.

Italian. Rough from the hammer. Vambrace with very slight tulip shape on the outer plate, inner plate secured by an inset hinge at the back and a pin engaging a hole in the outer plate at the front. Deep, broad cop with slight pointw at the center of the top and bottom. One lame below and above securing the cop to the vambrace. Upper formed of two large plates and two further smaller plates. The bottom two forming a turning collar. The top two secured to each other and the remainder by sliding rivets at the back and with leathers at the front and center. Leathers secured by pairs of rivets in each plate (leathers lost). interior edges of vambraces, cop and lames with pairs of chisel assembly marks. Engraved lines generally trippled parallel to the edges. Edges with inward turned plain rolls except at the elbow of the upper vambrace plate where the roll is turned outward.

Measurements: weight: 4 pounds 9.6 ounces (2.090 kilo).

Provenance: Ex. JW Higgins Armoury (inv. no. 927). Dr Bashford Dean, Riverdale, New York, purchased from his estate 28 September 1929. [inv. num. A-238]

German Gorget

German Gorget circa 1550

Formed of 3 plates front and back with additional plates covering the points of the shoulders. Main front plate with central crease. Main rear plate formed to the shape of the neck and shoulders. Neck tof two lames front and back. Upper plates with srong inward-turned roped rolls. Neck lames creased at the center front following the crease in the main plate. Neck lames attached by 3 leathers front and back, each secured by 2 rivets in each plate. Upper plate secured by an integral hinge at the left and a pin at the right. Main plates secured by a pin at the left and a pin engaging in a keyhole slot at the right. Attached shoulder protection of two plates each. One a small articulating plate, the other shaped to cover the point of the shoulder. Edge rolled and roped. Secured with sliding rivets at the back and leathers at the center and front edge. The leather on the right can be detached from the main plate to allow the gorget to be opened. Two hinged mounts for the suspension of the pauldrons, each carrying a vertical pin with a spring-loaded catch. One associated. Older leathers. A pair of holes at the base of the center of the rear main plate.

Top of neck slightly out of round. App 6 1/2 inches across on the inside (app. 1/4"" longer front to back than side to side). The main plates are 10 1/4 inches wide at the front, 11 1/2 inches wide at the join between the front and back plates and 13 1/4 inches wide at the back. Overall thickness varies between 0.03 in. and 0.050 in. It is generally around 0.040 in. thick. [inv. num. A-25]

Mitten Gauntlet

Mitten Gauntlet late 16th century

Of russet steel. Hand formed of 5 overlapping plates articulated to allow the wrist to bend down and up. Fingers covered by mitten plates formed of 5 separate plates, the final one with a narrow, inwardly turned, roped roll. Hand joined to the fingers by a roped knuckle plate. Cuff of slightly tapered tubular form made from an inner and outer plate. There is a small roll on the inside of the elbow. This was most likely intended to be used without a vambrace as a simple elbow gauntlet. The end of the cuff has a line of rivets to secure a leather strip, the terminal finger plate has a line of rivets to secure the glove and there are remains of a palm strap secured to the main hand plate. Half of the hinge for the thumb remains. The articulations on this gauntlet are very well executed. The rivets appear to be original. From the George F. Harding Collection, previously ex collection Henry Griffith Keasby. 14 5/8 in long. Thickness - cuff .030-.042 back of hand .040-.050. Weight 1 pound 4.8 ounces (585 g) [inv. num. A-122]

German Gauntlet (part)

German Gauntlet (part) circa 1490-1500

Finger, knuckle and 1 1/2 metacarpal plates of a German Gothic mitten gauntlet. The finger lames are fluted so simulate fingers, the knuckle plate with rounded and creased knuckles. The first metacarpal plate is fluted with v-shaped puckers to accommodate the flutes in the knuckle and finger lames. There is half of the hinge used to attach the thumb plate, and half of the second metacarpal plate remaining. Each of the articulations is formed with sliding rivets with slots app. 1/4 in. long. 2 rivets have been lost, the parts held together by bolts. Formerly in the collection of Leonard Heinrich - armourer to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

Thickness: Generally around .030 in. The back of hand plate is pretty consistently .028-.032. The knuckle plate varies more, generally .025-.030, the finger plates vary even more - .020-030. The hinge is folded over. The overall thickness of the two layers is .060 at the bend, the actual metal is likely a little thinner. The pin is .090 in diameter, the hinge is .450 wide at the pin. The partial plate is 3/4 in. wide at the center, .7 in. at near the bulge at the end, .85 at the bulge for the rivet. The second finger plate is just over 1 in. wide. The first plate is app. 1 1/16 in. wide. The main hand plate is 2 in wide at the first knuckle tapering to 1 11/16ths at the fourth knuckle.

Weight: 4.6 ounces (130 grams) [inv. num. A-47]

German Gothic Gauntlet

German Gothic Gauntlet circa 1480-90

Single gauntlet for the right hand. Nicely formed 'Gothic' gauntlet typical of the late 15th century in Germany. Fluted, engraved and pierced overall. Formed of a large metacarpal plate joined to a wrist lame by another, smaller lame. The cuff is also attached to the wrist lame. The cuff is pointed with a small outward turn. The knuckle, metacarpal, wrist and cuff plates are attached with sliding rivets allowing the wrist to flex in all directions. The knuckle plate is formed into a rounded crease over each knuckle. The base of the thumb is covered by a large plate secured to the metacarpal plate with a hinge. The thumb and fingers are covered by two plates bridged by a pointed knuckle plate that overlaps the other two plates. The finger plates are secured to a plate inside the knuckle plate. This plate is secured to the sides of the knuckle plate. Rivets replaced. Finger and thumb plates are probably also modern, but well made.

Thickness: cuff generally 0.028 in (varying, .025-.032), wrist plate and next hand plate app. .030, main hand plate .030-.055 - mostly .040-.050, knuckle plate can't reasonably me measured due to the inner plate and finger plates.

Weight: 13.2 ounces (375 g). [inv. num. A-213]

Two couters

Two couters circa 1490

A pair of elbows - one is authentic, the other a well made copy. Each of shell form, pointed at the outside of the elbow and with a flare at the inside of the bend of the elbow. The outer surface covered by three stepped flutes on each side and a central squared raised ridge. Each of these is accentuated by an engraved line at the base of the step. The outer edge is decorated by a series of five cusps. The back and inside of the wing are plain. The cops have modern straps and have four holes at the center to secure the cop to the arm. Four holes are usually indicative of laces, but these holes appear to be smaller than would be normal for this. The form, decorative elements and four holes indicate a late 15th century date for the elbow.

Measurements: Elbow thickness varies significantly reflecting the rough interior surface - a few thick areas app. .060, thin areas app. .030. Varies significantly even in spots close to each other often between .040 and 050 in one area of the center. It appears this elbow was shaped roughly and ground to its smooth surface, not hammered to the exact shape.

Weights: elbow: 7.4 ounces (210g). [inv. num. A-214]

Elbow (couter)

Elbow (couter) circa 1500

Floating form designed for use with a central peg securing it to a strap connecting the upper and lower vambrace. Clam shell form with one flute above and below the center and raised border over most of the outer edge. Ex. col. Dr. John Waldman. [inv. num. A-148]

Couter (elbow cop)

Couter (elbow cop) circa 1500

Formed in a single piece wrapping two thirds of the way around the arm. With a raised ridge bordered by a parallel recessed border around outer edge of the wing and front of the cop, each accented by an engraved line. One rivet at the center to secure a leather connecting the cop to the vambrace and rivet and hole to secure a strap around the elbow. The cop formed with a blunt medial ridge forming a shallow point. This elbow is formed in a plain style that may be of either German or Italian origin. From the personal collection of Claude Blair.

Measurements 18.5 cm wide. 6 5/8 in. tall at the widest part of the wing, 5 in. tall at the back edge, and 6 in. from the point of the center of the wing to the back edge. Thickness .050-.080, generally in the .060-.075 range. [inv. num. A-185]

Elbow cop

Elbow cop circa 1560-80

North German. Possibly from a black and white armour. Formed of a single piece with a riveted joint at the back. Cop rising to a slightly rounded crease at the center. Center of the point with embossed leaves. The center of the cop with a raised ridge which flows into a pair of volutes on the wing. The ridge, volutes and edge of the wing and cop crenelated. Surface with later black.

Dr. Peter Parsons Collection (2011), Peter Dale (1986), Howard Blackmore FSA [inv. num. A-198]


Breastplate circa 1500-1510

Italian/Flemish. One piece breastplate with central crease. Angular outward-turned rolls at the neck and arms. Flaired bottom edge for a fauld.

Measurements: 13 in. tall, 13 1/2 in wide below the arm holes, 11 3/8 in. wide at the waist. Thickness: center mostly .120-.140 with thick spots up to .150, side tapers down to .080, shoulders taper to .050, but only right at the edge more of the shoulder area is no thinner than .080. Rolls up to app. 1/2 in. tall at the center. Weight 5 pounds 11.6 ounces (2.595 kilo). [inv. num. A-239]

Piece of Mail

Piece of Mail 16th century

Piece of Mail. Rings of round cross section except at the overlap. All rings rivetted. Wedge rivets. [inv. num. M-6]