The 'Almain Armourer's Album'
The original manuscript is likely to have been the drawings of an armourer working in England during Elizabeth I reign, most likely those of Jacob Halder. The original ‘Jacob Album’, or ‘Almain Armourer’s Album’, is in the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Royal Armouries Library owns a facsimile published in 1905.
The ‘Album’ contains armour design drawings for some of Queen Elizabeth I leading courtiers, advisors and military leaders including Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, Sir Henry Lee and Sir Christopher Hatton.
The drawings consist of a single page showing the main armour and a further page with images of all the additional parts needed to make the armour adaptable for different purposes.
Did you know?
- Extra pieces to provide appropriate protection for the left side when jousting over a barrier often included a grandguard (to protect the chest and neck), a pasguard (to protect the elbow) and a manifer (to protect the bridle hand).
- For foot combat the armour would protect the left and right sides equally, with the addition of leg defences if not fought over a barrier.
- For the tourney there was a locking gauntlet to hold their weapon firmly in their right hand.
- To protect the horse’s head a shaffron was needed and the designs also show saddle steels to reinforce and decorate the front and back of the saddle.
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