No image availableNo image available

Pikeman's Tasset (right)

c. 1620–30
Overall: 33 x 32.4 cm (13 x 12 3/4 in.)
Weight: 820 g (1.81 lbs.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


Pikemen formed the backbone of infantry tactics through the end of the English Civil Wars (1642–51). Since muskets alone were ineffective against cavalry charges, companies of pikemen, armed with pikes, or spears, of 12 to 16 feet in length, were deployed in defensive formations to protect the musketeers, who wore no armor. A pikeman was usually equipped with a breastplate and backplate, hinged tassets reaching to mid-thigh, and sometimes a gorget, or neck piece, worn over a heavy buffcoat. High boots replaced leg armor. A brimmed, high-combed helmet known as a "pot" protected the head. Pikeman's armor withstood hard service. It was colored and treated (though the black paint seen here is modern) to control rusting and to add decorative interest.
Pikeman's Tasset (right)

Pikeman's Tasset (right)

c. 1620–30

England, Greenwich (?), 17th century

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.