Bridle gauntlets served the same function in the 17th century as the shield in the 16th century and earlier. They protected the hands which gripped the sword and reins, and forearms. As armor became heavier in response to increasingly efficient firearms, it was necessary to concentrate the protection where most critical and sacrifice protection for less vulnerable areas. This is a true pair of good quality with original brass capped iron rivets. It is likely that they served in the 30 Years War and again in the English Civil Wars.