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 (three lacking) securing the leather liner band within. The fingers are particularly finely made with each plate medially ridged, pointed and line bordered. Each has faded arsenal numbers inside which would have been used in identifying and stocking them when not in service. It is likely that they served in the Thirty Years’ War and again in the English Civil Wars. Length overall, 20”.