Leather in Warfare: Attack, Defence and the Unexpected


Leather in Warfare is a collection of papers from a conference jointly organised by the Archaeological Leather Group and the Royal Armouries Museum. It draws together authors from a range of disciplines and nationalities, and offers a fresh perspective on the varied use of this versatile material throughout history.

Contributors – several of whom are Royal Armouries staff  cover issues as diverse as Romano-Egyptian ceremonial clothing, Roman campaign tents, the equipment of the medieval swordsman and Japanese Samurai, Mamluk lamellar armour and European plate armour, the buff coat of the English Civil War and the fish skin helmet of the Pacific Island warrior.

The volume is an important overview of the functions played by leather and skin products in warfare, and provides a useful starting point for those wishing to study this fascinating topic in the future. It is recommended to specialists and enthusiasts alike.


  • Warm and dry: a complete Roman tent from Vindolanda (Carol van Driel-Murray)
  • A Romano-Egyptian cuirass and helmet made from crocodile skin: conservation and context (Barbara Wills)
  • Changing styles of Anglo-Saxon scabbards AD 600-1100 (Esther Cameron)
  • Fourteenth-century sword sheaths from Leiden city centre (Carol van Driel-Murray)
  • Leather plate armour in medieval Europe (Thom Richardson)
  • A poor man’s armour? Late medieval leather armour from excavations in the Netherlands (Marloes Rijkelijkhuizen and Marquita Volken)
  • Taken for a ride? The case for a unique surviving leather horse bard of Henry VIII (Karen Watts)
  • Cuir Bouilli: fracture toughness testing of hide-based materials (Eddie Cheshire)
  • The leather equipment of the sixteenth-century ‘mercenary’ from the Theodul Pass, Zermatt, Switzerland (Marquita Volken)
  • Seventeenth-century buff coats and other military equipment (Keith Dowen)
  • Grips, sleeves and liners: leather on European edged weapons (Henry Yallop)
  • Cover-guard, copellet or chape: an overlooked component of medieval swords (Nicolas P. Baptiste)
  • Mamluk armour: leather lamellar cuirasses from Syria (David Nicolle)
  • Leather in Japanese arms and armour (Ian Bottomley)
  • Nature’s defences: non-mammalian armour in the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford (Helen Adams)
  • Leather in warfare – not all fighting (Yvette Fletcher)
  • No place to hide: a look at leathers in the Royal Armouries collection (Suzanne J. Dalewicz-Kitto)

Publication date: 1st September 2017
ISBN: 9780948092763
Dimensions: 248x186 mm
No. of pages: 228
Binding style: Paperback
Details of illustrations: 150 illustrations

Paperback: 224 pages

Publisher: Trustees of the Royal Armouries; First Edition edition (1 Sept. 2017)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0948092769

ISBN-13: 978-0948092763

Dimensions: 24.8 x 18.4 cm

We process orders daily, Monday to Friday.

Collect instore (Leeds Museum)
Collect within 7 days
UK Standard - 3-5 Working Days £3.95
FREE on orders over £60
UK Express - 1-2 Working Days

UK Express - 1-2 Working Days - AGE CHECK For full-size replicas (Swords, Gimli's Axe, Gandalf Staff) £14.50
International Shipping costs will be calculated at checkout based on destination and weight.

Please ensure that someone is available at the delivery address to receive your order. Any undelivered or uncollected parcels will be returned to sender. We will automatically issue a refund for all products once they have been received back at the museum, however, shipping is non-refundable.

Age Check - 18+

All sales of replica blades, replica firearms and alcohol require age verification. You will be asked for proof of age at point of delivery.

Collect in store

  • Collections can be made from the shop at Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds during opening hours.
  • You will be notified via email once your order is ready for collection.
  • Once you receive this notification, we will hold your order for 7 days.
  • Please bring your order confirmation and ID that matches the name on the order.
  • Limited short stay, road-side parking is available on Clarence Road or Citipark operate the nearby Leeds Dock multi-storey car park. Please note that parking charges may apply.

International Shipping

All international orders will be sent by courier. The estimated delivery time for European deliveries is 7-10 working days and 10-14 working days for rest of the world, however this is not guaranteed. 

Please note that some products are not available to ship outside of the UK. A full list can be found on the Restricted Items page. Orders placed with a non-UK delivery address that include a restricted item may be subject to cancellation and a refund will be issued. If you are unsure, please contact us before ordering.

Please be advised that you are responsible for any import duty that may be charged on delivery of your order. If you are unsure, we advise you to check with your own customs and excise department before placing an order.

Contact us

You can find all the ways to contact us on our Contact Us page

****Please be advised that you are responsible for any import duty that may be charged on delivery of your order. If you are unsure, we advise you to check with your own customs and excise department before placing an order.

You May Also Like...

Recently Viewed