The Earl’s Armour.


The tournament armour of George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland (1558-1605) As Queen’s Champion Clifford’s armour would have been unrivaled in beauty. It was made at the Greenwich armory established by King Henry VIII, and a drawing of it is included in the Jacob Album, a book of designs for 29 different armors for various Elizabethan gentlemen. Clifford’s armour, being part of a garniture, includes many pieces of exchange, including a grandguard, an extra helmet, a shaffron and several lance guards. These extra pieces allowed the wearer to modify his armour for different forms of tournament combat. The armour is of blued steel and is etched and inlaid with elaborate gilded designs, incorporating columns of alternating fleurs-de-lisand Tudor roses, with the letter E for Queen Elizabeth I. It is currently located in the Armor Court at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, next to the two suits of armour of Sir James Scudamore which were also made at the Greenwich armory.


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