Henry VIII's Armor
What is it?
Of a type known as a garniture; a single armour with a set of alternate pieces that could be combined to create armours for use in a number of different tournament events. This garniture is unique in having a double set of all pieces.
Where is it from?
Constructed in 1540 this armour was made in Greenwich, London for one of the last tournaments that Henry VIII was known to have organised. This armour has one of only two known existing examples of a ventral plate. This is an inner breastplate that is worn under the principal breastplate to provide additional support. The etched and gilded decoration of the armour was designed by the king’s court artist, Hans Holbein.
What does it tell us about its royal owner?
Henry VIII was 49 when this armour was made. By then his fitness and health had declined. As can be observed in the great size of the garniture, Henry had put on a lot of weight in his later years. His poor physical condition meant that it was unlikely that he actually competed in this tournament.