The tasset was
attached to the breastplate “skirt” and covered the upper front portion of
the legs. It is composed of lames, metal
strips that may have been manufactured in separate articulated sections that moved when the wearer moved, or in a larger pressed
sheet metal section (one for each leg) that appeared to be several
overlapping lames, but was actually only one formed sheet.
Many fragments of
tasset lames of
different sizes and construction have been recovered from 17th-century Tidewater
sites in Virginia.
Articulated examples like those pictured here are rare. The
metal deteriorates badly in the soil where
they are usually found in Virginia, so they require extensive
conservation in order to stabilize them and to reveal the actual shape
of the pieces.