Words and Pictures

By Arja

Henry VIII’s armour

Henry was 49 or 50 when he had this armour tailor-made in 1540, the year he married the young Catherine Howard. Interesting fashion statement, the codpiece. Other than that, armour’s such a fitted and personal bit of kit - I could really imagine Henry’s imposing bulk filling the suit - it’s considerably chunkier than his nearby jousting armour from 25 years previous. The gilding above the codpiece is a bit worn - wonder whether this was once on open display. Reminded me of the larger-than-life bronze of Cristiano Ronaldo near the harbour in Funchal, which has an unusually shiny crotch.

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