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Item:
ON9704

Original English Civil War Iron Gauntlet Articulated Finger Reportedly from Oliver Cromwell - Circa 1644

Regular price $795.00

Item Description

Original Item: One of a kind. Fascinating! This really is an articulated finger from an English Civil War iron gauntlet or glove. Constructed of four individual iron lames backed in leather, it rather resembles the outer covering for the thumb rather than a finger. Based on the location and direction of the leather attachments, it is a finger from the outside of the hand, not the middle or ring finger.

The finger still bears an old paper label the reads:

FINGER FROM
OLIVER CROMWELL'S
IRON GLOVE
BIRCH FAMILY COLL.
CAMBRIDGESHIRE

This fascinating item was apparently obtained from the BENEDICT MUSEUM on Staten Island upon its closure in 1930, and remained in the same "hands" ever since. Whether this truly belonged to Oliver Cromwell is impossible to know, but it does make a wonderful conversation piece, after all, everyone loves a good story.

Oliver Cromwell, born in 1599 of "middle gentry" moved to St. Ives, Cambridge in 1631 and represented Cambridge as its Member of Parliament. At the outbreak of the Civil War he supported the "Roundheads" against King Charles I, and by 1644 had become a Lieutenant General.

A military genius, he formed the New Model Army that finally defeated the Royalists and he supported the beheading of the King in 1649. He himself became "LORD PROTECTOR" on 16 December 1653 and governed England until his death on 3 September 1658. He was then succeeded as Lord Protector by his son, however he proved unable to maintain the protectorate, and resigned in 1659.

After the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 Cromwell's body was exhumed and hung in chains at Tyburn, (now know as Marble Arch), the traditional execution venue replacing the Tower of London in that era. He was then beheaded and his head displayed on a pike outside Westminster Hall until 1685. The head was subsequently buried near Sydney Sussex College in Cambridge.

It is not unreasonable that the Birch Family of Cambridge knew Cromwell and at some time acquired this relic.

Fascinating, ready to display.

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