Largest selection of genuine antique weapons for sale in UK. See our website andrewbottomley.com. Ref 1185. Gauntlets were worn by soldiers and knights with their armour. An important piece of armour, since the hands and arms were particularly vulnerable in hand to hand combat. To "throw down the gauntlet" is to issue a challenge. A gauntlet wearing knight would challenge a fellow knight or enemy to a duel by throwing one of his usually leather gauntlets on the ground. The opponent would pick up the gauntlet to accept the challenge. The phrase is associated particularly with the action of the King's Champion, which officer's role was from medieval times to act as champion for the King at his coronation, in the unlikely event that someone challenged the new King's title to the throne. Although pairs of metal elbow gauntlets were in use by the cavalry in Europe towards the end of the 16th Century, particularly the German States. By the second quarter of the 17th Century soldiers used a steel gauntlet for the left hand, hence the name bridle gauntlet, since the horses reins were held in the left hand, while the right held the sword or pistol. Made of iron with rounded elbow length cuff of two pieces riveted together. Hinged cuff leading to five overlapping finger scales. Stamped with a makers mark. Overall length 19 inches. The fingers possibly restored, otherwise in very good condition. Ref 1185.If you wish to purchase this item please visit our website www.andrewbottomley.com where you can pay by credit/debit card or bank transfer at not extra charge. Established 1968.