The cuirass was developed from an earlier type of armor called “a coat of plates” which was composed of small iron scales attached to a cloth or leather base. Because leather can be stretched, it causes gaps between small metal plates. The weak places in armor are always a perfect target for a rival’s blade.
The solution was to change the way the iron plates were riveted to the lining material. Overlapping metal lames formed a new structure for torso armor. From that point on, medieval blacksmiths searched for the best possible shape of armor that would combine maximum protection and mobility. The invention of the breastplate was the result of much effort. Later, this body armor became the main part of the cuirass. It was composed of shaped steel plates that had been riveted to leather bands inside the breastplate.
The Italian school of blacksmithing reached its highest state of armor development in the second half of the XV century. But despite that, the Milanese artisans worked hard to find more and more improvements to the armor’s shape. One early cuirass is dated 1420 and preserved in the armor collection of Churburg Castle in Sluderno, Italy.
The shape of the breastplate is slightly rounded with a straight edge line at the bottom. The chest plate and back plate are made from one piece of steel sheet. A lower triangular element called a “placard” overlaps part of the breastplate. It is attached to the breastplate with three leather straps and buckles. The placard is joined to a skirt of three lames which are called a “culet”. Each plate of the culet overlaps the one attached above. The backplate is composed in the same way: a large plate, placard, and skirt. The historical artifact cuirass from Churburg Castle has only one back element of the culet; the rest have been lost. The cuirass has a collar with projection which serves to protect the neck and is equipped with a V-shaped stop rib.
Our Churburg Cuirass is historically accurate and completely suitable for full contact medieval combat regulated by IMCF or HMB rules.
Complete your set of armor with the same Churburg style arm and leg harness:
Please note that measurements should be with padding/gambeson.