Allen Antiques

These are the Legs in the Allen study collection.
Side plate from a German cuisse

Side plate from a German cuisse circa 1470-90

This plate provided additional protection for the side of the leg. 12" tall. Holes for attachment of hinges and other plates. Point at the top over the hole used to attach the upper plates. Beveled top edge.

.038 - .060" thick. Generally thicker toward the top. Mostly .040-.050". Part of the rear edge is cracked. It shows no sign of deformation, it seems to have fractured cleanly. This suggests that the plate was formed from steel and hardened.

Not for sale.

Cuisse for the left leg

Cuisse for the left leg circa 1510

Spanish (possibly Flemish or Italian). Formed of a short cuisse plate, a long demi-greave, a central cop and two lames above and below the cop. All formed with a central crease. The cuisse plate slightly boxed and the outside and dished to conform to the thigh. The upper edge of the cuisse bordered by a recessed band and hollow roll. The cop with a raised central ridge and another bridging the transition from the cop to the wing. The wing with a recessed border. The demi-greave cut away on the inside of the bottom and bordered by a recessed band and roll similar to the top of the cuisse. The outside cut off straight. A single buckle remains on the outside of the demi-greave. There are rivets for securing straps and buckles on the cuisse and knee cop. Sold from the Parsons collection as late 15th c. but the character of the piece - forms of the rolls and boxing much more closely approximates 1510 - similar in many ways to the cuisses on Henry VIII"s Silvered and Engraved armour. It appears that this was likely originally rough from the hammer and would likely have been blackened. This is very similar in form to the knees illustrated in Albert F Calvert - Spanish Arms and Armour - plates 17(b) and 99. They are described as late 15th c. Other similar items can be seen in Mann - Notes on the Armour Worn in Spain - Archaeologia LXXXIII for 1933 p. 300 fig. 7 and item #183 in the Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms 1963 - again identified as late 15th century Spanish. There are also two similar pairs in the Harding Collection in Chicago. One of these has been adapted to appear to have a more 15th c. style. One pair and one left very similar pairs are illustrated in armamento Medieval No Espaco Portugues items 21 and 22. These come from Lisboa Museu Militar Inv. MML numbers 21/37 and 21/69. 21/69 is nearly identical to this item..

Provenance: Dr. Peter Parsons Collection (2011), Brian Powers (1980)

Measurements - 15 in. overall height - others on the image. Thickness - cuisse .060-.070 in. cop .050-.060 in. demi-greave .040-.050 in.

Not for sale.

Pair of Cuisses

Pair of Cuisses circa 1540

A pair. Consisting of a one piece cuisse shaped to the thigh with central crease and bold inward turned roped roll at the top. Poleyn of 4 plates, the cop deeply dished with a large wing on the outside, wing with inward turned roped rolled edge. One small articulating lame above and below the cop and a terminal plate with an inward turned roped roll on the bottom edge. Some old repairs - one cop has a patched hole and one has the wing re-attached. A nice example of a plain armour of the mid 16th century. In uncleaned condition from an English household. Similar in many ways to the right cuisse that survives in the collection of Her Majesty the Queen inventoried as #139 in ARMS , ARMOUR IN THE COLLECTION OF HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN - inventory number RCIN 72868 and identified as probably Flemish 1540.

Not for sale.


Tasset circa 1550-60

For the right leg. Rough from the hammer. Composed of nine plates, the top formed to fault, the bottom formed to the knee. Tapering to fit the leg. Three buckles at the top for the straps on the fauld lame. Currently secured by rivets at the outside, inside and remains of a central leather. The inside would have had a leather when it was used. Outer rivets on slots.

Not for sale.


Tasset circa 1550-60

For the left leg. Rough from the hammer. Composed of eleven plates, the top formed to fault, the bottom formed to the knee. Tapering to fit the leg. Three buckles at the top for the straps on the fauld lame. Currently secured by rivets at the outside, inside and remains of a central leather. The inside would have had a leather when it was used. Outer rivets on slots.

Not for sale.


Greaves circa 1560

Flemish. Covering the front and outside of the shin and calf. Right from the period, left of somewhat heavier form and possibly more recently made to match. Atypically for a copy the right includes equivalent adaptations in the methods used to secure the greaves to the cuisses. From the George F. Harding Collection. Thickness - right generally .035 - .045 with some areas as thin as .025 and some thicker areas app. .050. Left generally closer to .060 with some thinner areas app. .050 and some thick areas close to .070.

Not for sale.

Pair of knee length tassets

Pair of knee length tassets circa 1560-70

Black and white. Formed of eight lames with detachable poleyns of 4 lames. The tassets are divisible between the fourth and fifth lames. The bright band at the center is bordered by narrow recesses, the borders on the side are recessed with a narrow raised edge simulating a roll on the outside and a small roped inward turned roll on the inside. There are white bands down the middle and on each side. There are three buckles on each for suspension from the fauld. The segments are secured by keyhole slots and pins on the outside and pins with hooks on the inside. Decorated with original brass rosette washers and a few replaced pewter rosettes. There are remains of a leather strap at the edge of the outside. This would have been used to limit the motion of the sliding rivets or possibly to secure a lining. The image of the separate pieces of the right tasset with the poleyn from the outside shows the knee at full bend. Both tassets include marks which are likely to identify the matching tassets among others - 7 punched marks on the lowest lame of each section that separates and on the wing of the cop. Ex. Royal house of Hanover.

Not for sale.

German Greave plate (front)

German Greave plate (front) late 16th cent

Originally part of a complete cased greave. Designed to be worn with a full legharness and mail sabatons. Greave has good shape and terminates at the ankle where it has a rolled edge and a series of small holes for the attachment of the mail sabaton. The turning hook used to secure it to the lower plate of the poleyn remains. There is a brass collection tag with the number c. 27, and a paper one with the number c. 57. This was originally a very nice piece - it has a wide etched bands of decoration at the center and narrow bands at each edge. There are remnants of gilt in the etching. This style of greave built for use with a mail sabaton was often used in Italy. The style of etching is associated with Augsburg Germany. The etched decoration is app. 1/2" wide at the sides. The central band tapers from app. 2 1/8" to 1 1/2".

Height 12 in. at the center crease, 4 1/2" wide at the calf, 3" wide at the ankle.

Varies between .018" and .036" thick. It is generally thicker near the ankle and thinner at the calf.

Not for sale.

Greaves and Sabatons

Greaves and Sabatons circa 1580

The greaves formed of two plates front and back formed to the leg hinged on the outside and secured by pins on the inside. Each with a sabaton of 9 plates (4 small plates overlapping a larger center plate then 3 smaller and terminal plate overlapping the central plate in the other direction) with terminal plate of boxed form turned over at the front and sides. Main plates creased at the center of the front and back. Sabatons creased at the center of the 4 plates closest to the greave, the crease ending in the main central plate. Small inward-turned, roped rolls formed around a wire at the bottom of the greave plates and very small, fine outward turned roll at the top of the back plate (behind the knee). The rear plate pierced with a hole for the spur. An additional plate rivetted into the inside of the plate to provide a threaded attachment for the spurs. 2 hinges on the outside of each greave. Hinges fully wrapped. The barrels cut into 4 sections (2 on each side). The ends rounded and filed to form simple flowers. Stamped with curved accents to emphasize the shape. Attached to the front and rear by one rivet each. Sabaton plates attached by sliding rivets at each side and originally 2 leather straps (one on each side of the instep, most of the inner remaining on both). Remains of leather strap in the base of the toe plate to secure sabaton to the shoe. 18 in. tall. Sabaton 11 3/4 in. from the back of the heel to the front of the toe. 80 painted inside the back plate of the right greave. From the George F. Harding Collection Thickness varies. Mostly .030 - .040, but with isolated areas that are thicker than .050.

Not for sale.

Cuisse with poleyn

Cuisse with poleyn circa 1580

Comprising a one-piece cuisse with poleyn of 4 plates. The cop of deeply rounded form with a small wing. The edge of the cop rises to a point at the center, the outer edge of the lames are cut to form a point in the center and points over the rivets. The top edge of the cuisse, wing and bottom plate with inward-turned rolled roped edges. The rolls are fairly even, the one on the top of the cuisse does taper a little bit. The rolls on the edge of the cop wing are full rolls on the flat portion of the wing but they flatten out and finally disappear in the indented area. The cuisse is shaped to the thigh, creased at the center and has an additional raised and roped line parallel to the top edge. The leg has a band of etched decoration in the form of a set of trophies of armour flanked by roped bands along the center line. The band between the top roll and roped line is etched with a foliate design. The edges of the cop and lame are filed with a simple roped decoration and have notches at the center crease. There are single filed notches on the inner ends of the cop, lame, lower plate and cuisse. The image of the leg with the knee bent illustrates the extent of motion allowed by the armour (almost, it does move a little more under pressure). Strap mounting rivets remain near the top of the cuisse and on the cop. The lower lame has a central slot to be secured to the greave.

Height 14 1/4 in. tall.

Generally varies between .030 and .050 inch thick, mostly .035-.040 in. with some places where it is as thin as .020 in. on the lower plate.

Not for sale.

Knee lame

Knee lame 16th century

Filed notch decoration at crease, double incised lines at top, rolled and roped edge with recessed decoration border. Border includes an additional raised line. Old patch and 1 remaining brass-headed rivet on one end.

Not for sale.


Tasset circa 1610-20

Italian. With blued and gilt decoration. Separates into two parts between the ninth and tenth plate. The tasset formed of sixteen upward lapping plates with a poleyn of five plates. The top plate is boxed to form to the flare at the base of the breastplate. The exposed edges of the plates with five points each and bordered by three parallel engraved lines. The cop of shallow form with a mostly flat wing. Articulated with two lames above and two lames below, the final lame larger and cut with a rounded (patched) bottom edge. Decorated with gilt rivets and engraved lines. Apparently originally the plates were attached using three internal leathers and had an additional narrow strip at the ends of the plates. Some modern patches at plate 14 and terminal plate. Leathers broken. Now loose or secured by modern bolts.

Provenance: John Woodman Higgins Armoury Inv. Nos. 927.4.a and b from Dr. Bashford Dean, Riverdale, New York, 28th September 1929

Measurements: 29 in. (61 cm) long.

Not for sale.

Pair of tassets

Pair of tassets circa 1610-20

Of large size composed of three separable portions. Ex Higgins Armory from which it was sold at Thomas DelMar March 3, 2013 lot 342 where they were described as:

each formed of twenty upward-overlapping lames divisible between the tenth and eleventh and terminating in a winged poleyn of five lames originally detachable the uppermost lame of each tasset fitted at its outer end with a later buckle and the eleventh pierced with a pair of lace-holes the main edges of the cuisses and their poleyns formed with finely file-roped inward turns bordered in the case of the uppermost lame of the cuisse with a matching roped rib and their subsidiary edges bordered by pairs of incised lines (lightly patinated overall with some small patches of active corrosion) 75 cm; 29 in


  • Cyril Andrade Ltd London No. 398 16th May 1930
  • JWHA Inv. Nos. 1145.a-d

Not for sale.

German Knee with lames and terminal plate

German Knee with lames and terminal plate circa 1620

For attachment to lamed legs. Seven total plates. Cop with central raised ridge, all plates with chiseled line borders, rolled edges and rivet decoration. From the Boston Museum of Fine Art - including 1929 acquisition number - 1099.29 Old de-lamination in some plates, old patch to lower plate. Possibly originally blackened. Very similar in style and form to the knees on a three quarter armour on display in Cleveland Museum of Art on loan from the RA Inv II 98/IV.863 38.2008.

Not for sale.


Knee circa 1620

from a 3/4 armour comprising the knee cop, large lower lame designed for use without a greave, 2 upper lames and a third detachable lame that originally formed the lower lame of the tasset. Embossed with a flower at the center of the knee and a raised, roped ridge from the flower to the center of the wing. Main outer edges with inward-turned rolled and roped borders. Wing with a recessed border. Rivets appear to be working life rivets. Knee plates secured to the tasset plate by a keyhole engaging a rivet on the outside and a keyhole with a turning hook on the inside. Main surface rough from the hammer. Flower polished. Thickness varies between app. .035 in. and .050 .in - mostly app. .040 in. There is one sliding rivet securing the wing side of the second lame to the first lame above the knee. There are pairs of rivets for securing a leather strip in th ecenter of the first 2 lames above the knee. Both of these features mimic the normal assembly of a long tasset. Thre would have been a strap around the back of the leg on the lowest plate of the long tasset (the top remaining lame) and at the back of the knee which would have been secured by a rivet in the center of the cop on the inside and on the articulation rivet for the lower lame on the outside.

Not for sale.

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If you have any questions, please send them to Wade Allen

This site last updated Sat Jun 13 22:03:30 EDT 2020