Breastplate

Breastplate

c. 1540

Part of a set. See all set records

Steel

Overall: 43.8 x 36.9 cm (17 1/4 x 14 1/2 in.)

Weight: 2.82 kg (6.22 lbs.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1804.b

Did you know?

The decoration along the edge is known as a roped edge.

Description

The breastplate protects the chest and abdomen and is normally worn with a backplate. This one features a lance rest which start to appear as early as the late 1300s. The purpose of the lance rest is not to bear the weight of the lance. Instead allows a mounted warrior to hold the lance firmly couched under his right arm and stops it from sliding backward. If the target is hit the lance rest also acts as a shock absorber, preventing the lance from shooting backward and dispersing the impact via the breastplate all over the upper body rather than leaving it concentrated on the hand. When not needed it can be folded up so that is is out of the way.

See also
Collection: 
MED - Arms & Armor
Department: 
Medieval Art
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor
Medium: 
Steel

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