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Closed cuirasses w. back plates

Closed cuirasses w. back plates

A Cuirass is a piece of armour, formed of a single or multiple pieces of metal or other rigid material, which covers the front of the wearer's person. In a suit of armour this important piece was generally connected to a back piece and cuirass could refer to the complete torso-protecting armour.

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Closed cuirasses w. back plates

Cuirass, Breast-plate

The cuirass worn in the 14th century was always made of sufficient length to rest on the hips; otherwise, if not thus supported, it must have been suspended from the shoulders, in which case it would have effectually interfered with the free and vigorous action of the wearer.

About the middle of the 15th century, instead of being formed of a single plate, the breast-plate of the cuirass was made in two parts, the lower adjusted to overlap the upper, and contrived by means of a strap or sliding rivet to give flexibility to this defense.

In the 16th century, when splendid surcoats were worn over the armour, the cuirassits breastpiece during the first half of the century, globular in form was constantly reinforced by strong additional plates attached to it by rivets or screws.

About 1550 the breast-piece of the cuirass was characterized by a vertical central ridge, called the tapul, having near its centre a projecting point.

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