Apr 6, 2020
Jan 17, 2008

Tilting Suit (composed)

Tilting Suit (composed)

c. 1560–80

Part of a set. See all set records

Steel, leather straps, brass rivets

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1511

Did you know?

Currently only the helmet of this suit is displayed in the museum's armor court; although both helmet and suit came into the collection together they do not belong together.


This armor was developed for the joust-a sporting combat between two mounted contestants. Although all of the elements of this armor date from the same period, they are not all from the same suit. This armor is thus called "composed." It also shows the asymmetry of jousting armor. The participants rode along a wall-like barrier known as a "tilt" with their left sides facing one another. Consequently, armor on that side of the body had to be thicker. Note the large plate (grandguard) over the left shoulder for extra protection. Also, the breathing holes in the helmet were placed on the right side (farthest from an opponent's lance) to avoid injuries from splinters. The bracket attached to the right breastplate is called the lance-rest, a shock-absorbing support designed to accommodate the lance when "couched" under the right armpit.

See also

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