Spaulder / Pauldron
Dating: 15th-16th century
Dimensions (cm): 21 x 21
Weight: 1300 g
Inv. no.: PD1088
A spaulder or pauldron made with six overlaid iron plates, joined by three rivets. The plates at the upper and lower ends are wider than the others. This assembly method made it possible to reduce the loss of the arm’s mobility without compromising the protection the piece provided.
These were the elements of a suit of armour that protected the shoulders. The term derived from the French word “épaule” which means shoulder.
These elements were developed from the 13th century onwards, however, the popularization of firearms in the 16th century made them lose their purpose. The use of spaulders peaked when jousts were in fashion, in which two mounted knights exchanged strokes. During this period, it was common for pauldrons to be asymmetric so that the one in the knights’ non-dominant arm increased the bearer’s head protection.