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Partial Suit of Armor in Maximilian Style: Breastplate and tassets

Partial Suit of Armor in Maximilian Style: Breastplate and tassets

c. 1525

Part of a set. See all set records

Steel, steel and brass rivets, leather straps

Overall: 45.2 x 37.2 x 17.8 cm (17 13/16 x 14 5/8 x 7 in.)

Weight: 2.78 kg (6.13 lbs.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1714.c


This fluted armor was visually striking in natural sunlight, which created a dazzling effect as it reflected off the polished, rippling steel. The flutings may have originated as a means of imitating the pleatings of male costume of the day. It became apparent, however, that the flutings were also a strengthening device, similar to corrugated metal. This enabled the armorer to use plates of thinner—and therefore lighter—steel. Such suits of armor demanded time-consuming and highly precise work from the armorer, which in turn quickly drove the production costs high enough that the fashion disappeared by 1540.

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