Attributed to Richard Holden (recorded 1658–1708)
Steel, engraved, blued, and gilded
Total Wt. 43 lb. 5 oz. (19.6 kg)
Armor: Rogers Fund, 1915; Buff coat: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from Various Donors, 1929 (15.113.1-5; 29.158.885)
This armor can be identified by its decoration as having belonged to Pedro II (r. 16831706). The decoration includes the crowned monogram PR, for "Pedro Rex" (Pedro the King), and the cross of the commander of the Order of Christ, a hereditary office held by the kings of Portugal.
Harquebusiers were armored cavalrymen generally equipped with a carbine (known as a harquebus) carried at the right side on a shoulder belt, a pair of pistols holstered at the front of the saddle, and a sword. This form of armor, consisting of a triple-barred helmet, a cuirass with a bulletproof reinforcing breastplate, and an elbow gauntlet, was common in England until about 1645. The armor of King Pedro is significant not only as a late example of this type but also as the probable work of the little-known armorer Richard Holden of London. A similar armor made by Holden in 1686 for James II of England (r. 168588) is in the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London. The armor is shown with an associated buff coat. This sturdy leather defense, which provided effective protection against sword cuts, was worn throughout the seventeenth century, first in conjunction with armor and later alone.