This is one of the oldest near-complete armours in the world, dating from about 1440. It is in remarkably good condition remaining in the castle armoury of a noble family in the Alps until being bought by an American media tycoon in the early 20th century. It is often referred to as the Avant armour as this word – meaning ‘Forward!’ – is inscribed on the edges of the breastplate. The armour was made in the renowned armour-making city of Milan. Armours made by its craftsmen were greatly sought after by wealthy warriors all across Europe. This beautifully shaped war armour was made to fit its owner perfectly so as not to impede manoeuvrability. It provides excellent protection against the various weapons that would be encountered on the medieval battlefield. Certain parts of the armour are almost four millimetres thick.