The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 21, 2024

Proper Left Arm (Vambrace, Rerebrace and Couter)

Proper Left Arm (Vambrace, Rerebrace and Couter)

c. 1560–1580
Location: not on view


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.
  • Frank Gair Macomber; Boston; cat #378
  • Gilchrist, Helen Ives. A Catalogue of the Collection of Arms & Armor Presented to the Cleveland Museum of Art by Mr. and Mrs. John Long Severance; 1916-1923. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1924. Mentioned: pp. 33-34, A12; Reproduced: Plate V, A12
  • {{cite web|title=Proper Left Arm (Vambrace, Rerebrace and Couter)|url=false|author=|year=c. 1560–1580|access-date=21 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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