Archer's bracer or wrist guard; made in fine leather using cuir bouilli technique; decorated with crowned Tudor rose and inscription. The bracer curved, the other side left plain with rivet holes for leather straps; traces of gilding on front raised areas and on inscription and perhaps of pigment.
- Made in: England
- (Europe,British Isles,England)
- Length: 12.4 centimetres
Inscription Contentihc helpe
Inscription TranslationJesus Help
Made for use with a longbow; the form of the lettering and the design of the Tudor insignia suggest a very late 15th or very early 16th Century dating, to the reign of Henry VII and thus to the end of the period of the use of the longbow. The detailed drawing in Dalton 1922 (see bibliography) show the design and inscription well. Traces of gilding on lettering. A 1634 reference to leather archer's bracers (see Dalton 1922) suggests the use of Spanish leather for them. The very fine leather and workmanship used on this example is an indication of the status of its wearer at the Tudor court, even if only of a liveried bowman. Compare open crown with that on white glass vase with portrait of Henry VII in BM. The use of the inscription IHC for Jesus is unusual on an object of this kind and can be compared with that on Netherlandish and Spanish pottery of the same period. DFT
Gallery Label: Gallery 46, Case 6, August 2005
Archer’s wrist guard with the Tudor rose
Cuir bouilli (boiled leather), gilt
English, early 16th century
Used to protect the archer’s wrist from being chafed by the bowstring. The prominent badge and the fine workmanship suggest that it was worn by an archer at the court, possibly for hunting.
1991 1 May-30 Sep, London, National Maritime Museum, Henry VIII at Greenwich
Prehistory and Europe
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Object reference number: MCT5844
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