Premier Collection


From time to time, we are called upon to create something unique and special. The following are some of our exclusive pieces, made for discerning clients who are looking for one of a kind treasures.


ARMOUR OF GEORGE CLIFFORD

George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland (1558 - 1605), was made Champion of Queen Elizabeth I in 1590. With such an auspicious promotion, Clifford commissioned an armour befitting his new station. Made in the Royal armories at Greenwich, the construction of the armour was supervised by the Master armourer, Jacob Halder, who produced a set of design drawings, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The armour was blued, etched, and gilt, incorporating in it’s decoration Tudor roses, Fleurs-de-li, and the Queen’s monogram of double ‘E’s back to back.

When Clifford died in 1605, his daughter, Lady Anne Clifford, placed many of her father’s possessions in Appleby castle, in Cumbria, the favorite of all the residences she had inherited from her father. Among the many items belonging her father that Lady Anne took there, was his Greenwich armour, which was displayed prominently in the Great hall of Appleby castle for many years.

In 1923, the owners if Appleby castle sold George Clifford’s armour to a New York antiquities dealer named Clarence MaKay. He eventually sold the armour to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, where it resides today, as the center-piece of their arms and armour collection. It is one of the most complete surviving garnitures, and one of the best preserved Greenwich armours. The left gauntlet survives, but is not with the armour. Another Greenwich gauntlet has replaced it, and the only missing pieces are the stirrups, which were stolen when the armour was in the possession of Clarence MaKay. In total, there are some 48 indivual pieces that make up the entire garniture.

A few years ago, I was contacted by the current owner of Appleby castle. He was renovating the castle, and wanted to replace the Clifford armour. He asked me to make a faithful copy of the armour, so it could be displayed over the fireplace in the Great hall. I took a trip to New York, and visited the Metropolitan Museum, to study the original armour. I wanted to make my copy as close to the original as possible.

It has taken over three years and an additional two trips to the Met to complete this project, but I painstakingly reproduced every aspect of the original armour, including faithfully reproducing all of the intertwining strap work in the gilt bands. The interesting thing about this project is that the original has very little bluing left, since time has rendered those areas of the armour a dull brown. Also, much of the gilding is worn away, and while the original armour is still very impressive, my copy is bright and clean, and gives an idea of what the Clifford armour looked like when it was new.


Dark Age Cavalry Helmet with Horse Hair Crest

This helmet was not actually made by us. It was made by a friend, Sean Elliot, who is a blacksmith by profession, under our supervision. He produced this helmet for a blacksmith's competition held at the Calgary Stampede in 2004. The judges were not used to such an unusual piece being submitted in the competition, and it came in sixth place. However, the winners of the competition insisted that it was by far the best piece submitted. The banding is actually damascus, and the panels have been textured and heat blued. Sean hand forged the horse figure on the crest. This was the first helmet he's ever produced, and it is a testimony to his skill not only as a blacksmith, but as an armourer as well.

 


 

(Jeff's URL is http://www.jeffdeboer.com)

 

Funeral Achievements of Prince Arthur, c.1502

 

We were recently contacted by Worchester Cathedral, who were re-enacting the funeral of Prince Arthur (the older brother of Henry VIII), who died in 1502. The re-enactment was to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Prince's death, but in order to perform the funeral properly, they needed his funeral achievements (the originals were missing). So we produced this helm, crest, and gauntlets for them. Simon Fearnham of Raven Armoury produced the sword and spurs to accompany the helm and gauntlets. The helm is actually a copy of the Helm of Henry V, but we changed the brass border to include Tudor roses instead of the starbursts on King Henry's helm. The gauntlets are typical Milanese style for 1502, with a matching chased brass border. They are properly constructed with the left gauntlet forged from a single piece, and with only one finger plate. Jeff Deboer expertly crafted the crest, which was a copy of the Black Princes', the only surviving crest made for a member of British royalty (to see more of Jeff's work, click here). If you travel to England some time, be sure to stop by Worchester Cathedral, and see the achievements hanging over Prince Arthurs' tomb.

 


Armour from Churburg, c. 1380

Copied from the famous armour in the Churburg Castle collection (catalogue number 13), this armour is an exact replica. The original armour no longer has the legs, so I had to rely on existing pieces from other extant armour of the same period, and combined them with the decoration on the existing Churburg pieces. The etched brass borders with the Latin inscription "Iesus autem transiens per medium illorum ibat." were carried throughout the leg armour. The original armour is displayed with a shirt of mail, and most reproductions of the armour include a mail shirt, but I wanted to do something different, so I copied a style of separate fauld that I saw on several German effigies. The fauld is constructed like a coat-of-plates, with the horizontal bands riveted to the inside of a leather tunic worn under the breastplate. All together, these elements make for a striking armour.


Beowulf Helmet, c. 700

A customer called us, and requested the helmet worn by the epic hero, Beowulf. So we studied the poem, and determined the Geat's helmet would look something like this. Based on one of the Vendel helmets, each panel is hand-chased, copied from an actual surviving design, and the crest is topped with a bronze boar.


Persian Kula Khud, c. 1550

We normally stick to European armour, but we try not to turn anybody down. This helmet has an etched brass border and plume sockets, with a finely detailed nasal holder. The mail fringe is linked with a brass zig-zag pattern; very nice!


Shao Khan Helmet

Made for the television series, Mortal Combat, this helmet includes Japanese styling, the distinctive "Shattered world" Mon, and the ominous embossed skull face. Watch for it on TV!

 


Hourglass Gauntlets, c. 1340

Covered with burgundy leather, these gauntlets include fluted brass on the cuffs, and chased borders on the knuckles. Over four hundred rivets hold the brass fluting on each cuff!


1982 Harley Davidson Motorcycle "Mid Evil"

The most unique project we've ever undertaken, we covered this custom-built motorcycle with stylized Gothic horse armour, to give it a distinctive medieval theme! It has been around the world, winning awards in every show it has been entered in. It has also been the subject of numerous magazine articles, and can be seen in the feature fim, "Biker Dreams".


Back to Catalogue of Armour

Back to Home Page