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Vambrace at British Museum, London

(393 words)

Author(s): John Cherry
This decorated leather armour (plate) is an arm defence, of the kind often known as a 'vambrace'. It dates from the 14th century, measures 287 mm by 245 mm (approx. 11.5 x 10 inches) and weighs 228 grammes. Leather was used widely for body armour (see armour: plate armour) in the Middle Ages. Horses often had leather plate armour, as is shown by a crupper in the Royal Armouries. Most frequently leather was used for the protection of joints such as shoulders, knees, and both lower and upper arms. Chaucer refers to Si…