Steel, brass, textile; H. 66 1/2 in. (168.9 cm)
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Gift of Helen Fahnestock Hubbard, in memory of her father, Harris C. Fahnestock, 1929 (29.154.3)
This armor was restored and assembled into its present form in about 1920. It is composed mostly of pieces from a unique hoard of armor discovered in 1840 in the ruins of a Venetian fortress at Chalcis (Khalkis) on the Greek island of Euboea (Evvoia). The fortress, an eastern outpost of the far-flung Venetian maritime empire, had been captured and destroyed by Ottoman Turkish forces in 1470. The armor seen here was assembled from Chalcis fragments and other pieces under the direction of Dr. Bashford Dean (18671928), the Museum's first curator of Arms and Armor. Dean's goal was to recreate as accurately as possible a full armor of the style worn about 1400, a period from which no complete armors have survived. One of the most distinctive features of armors from that era is the brigandine, a defense for the torso constructed of contoured steel plates riveted to the inside of a cloth doublet. Early brigandines, such as the example seen on this armor, were made of relatively large plates and include a pair of convex breastplates covering the upper half of the chest. The velvet covering on this brigandine was added during restoration of the armor. The helmet, a type known as a visored bascinet, was not part of the Chalcis find, but dates from about the same period.