A good English (London) harquebusier’s cuirass
A good English (London) harquebusier’s cuirass, probably by William Coxe (working c 1620’s onwards, died 1653). The heavy breastplate of conventional form is turned at the neck with arm cusps, and formed with a distinct medial ridge. It is fitted with a pair of studs for the shoulder straps, and has a short flared skirt. It is deeply struck with a musket ball “proof”, and the maker’s mark the letter “C”, together with a helmet above the letter “A” (post 1649/1650). The backplate has turned edges outlined with an engraved line at the neck and arms, and with studded borders to the neck and flared skirt. It is deeply struck with the crowned CR arsenal mark of Charles II. The leather shoulder straps and waistbelt, though not original, do seem to be working life replacements and are worn as shown. Retaining an old black munition finish overall with good age patina.
The “C” mark is ascribed to William Coxe in the 1619 list of marks in Guildhall. For an account of him and all the marks on the armour see T. Richardson “The London Armourers of the 17th Century” Royal Armouries, Leeds, 2004.