Formerly Master Armourer to the Royal Armouries

Expert Restoration of Antique Armour

Expert antique armor restoration.

Chris Dobson is an acknowledged expert in the restoration of armour and edged weapons, with over 30 years’ experience in the field, working for both private collections and public museums. His appointment as Master Armourer to the Royal Armouries made him the first recognized Master Armourer in England since the 17th century, and he employs his skills in a wide variety of techniques and materials: forging of iron, steel, non-ferrous and precious metals; casting in iron and bronze; engraving and acid etching; precious metal plating; patination and reconstruction of original colour finishes; hard and soft soldering; work in textiles, leather and other organic materials.

But more than this, he combines those skills with a scholarly approach to ensure not just accurate and sympathetic restorations, but full documentation of restoration projects and scientific analysis, publishing his findings. In this way, restoration adds considerably to what we know about the manufacture and original appearance of armour and edged weapons, and the Masters who made them. He also acts as consultant to private and public collections.

Professional restoration of 17th century armor
Professional restoration of German 17th century armour
Professional restoration of 17th century armour
The photos above show the restoration of an early-17th century South German or Austrian ‘Death’s Head’ closed burgonet from a cuirassier armour. It had been converted for the Pisan Gioco del Ponte, probably in the 18th century. Restorations: peak and mask of visor; lower turned edge of front neck lame; rear neck lame; swivel hooks and brass-capped rivets; plume holder; repairs to skull; blue-grey oxide finish. Restoration based on helmets in the Landeszeughaus, Graz. All photos above © Chris Dobson.

If you are interested in commissioning restoration or conservation work, you might first want to acquire a copy of Chris Dobson’s book on restoration work, which contains step-by-step photography of various restoration projects: before, during and after the work. All photos on this page are examples from the book.

Restoration of Medieval armor
Black and white German armour
Embossed and gilded parade helmet by Zarabaglia
Examples of restoration projects from the book, left to right/top to bottom: a Milanese sallet, c.1450; a composite Nuremberg black and white corselet c.1560-70; a parade burgonet by Giovan Battista Panzeri detto Zarabaglia and Marco Antonio Fava c.1560-63. See also the photo at the top of the page: an etched and gilded Milanese closed burgonet from a lancer armour, c.1600. All photos above © Chris Dobson.

If you would like to discuss restoration or conservation work, please get in touch via the contact page. Please note that Chris Dobson may require clients to provide proof of ownership of objects, and in the case of agents, documentation must be provided by the real owner(s) demonstrating that the agent is legally empowered to commission work on their behalf. Chris Dobson regrets he cannot accept commissions from agents acting on behalf of anonymous individuals.

© Chris Dobson 2020. All rights reserved | P.IVA 03799630045