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Pikeman Armor for an Officer

A work made of steel, brass, and leather.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of steel, brass, and leather.




English, Greenwich

About this artwork

Half armor was worn by both foot soldiers and light cavalrymen. English Pikemen were infantrymen (foot soldiers) so named for their principal weapon, the pike, a staff that measured 16 to 20 feet in length. Abundantly studded with steel brass-capped rivets within embossed V-shaped motifs, a pikeman’s armor included a helmet (pott), cuirass (breastplate and backplate), gorget (collar), and tassets (riveted steel skirt plates attached to the breastplate). For protection, the down-turned, wide-brimmed pott was originally designed to deflect arrows away from the neck, while the tassets shielded the waist and upper thighs. The patterned breastplate with bulbous tassets reflects the style of a doublet, with a wide full skirt over bulky trousers, which was fashionable at this time. The shoulder strap reinforcement and tasset hinges suggest that this harness belonged to an officer of the English Pikemen or even a member of the English royal bodyguard—the Yeomen of the Guard.


On View, Gallery 239


Applied Arts of Europe


Pikeman Armor for an Officer


Greenwich (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1625–1630


Steel, brass, and leather


H.: 94 cm (37 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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