The shaffron (also spelled chaffron, champion, chamfron, chamfrein, champron, and chanfron) was designed to protect a horse’s face. Sometimes they included hinged cheek plates. A decorative feature common to many chanfrons is a rondelwith a small spike.
Shaffrons date back as early as ancient Greece, but vanished from use in Europe until the twelfth century when metal plates replaced boiled leather as protection for war horses. The basic design of the shaffron remained stable until it became obsolete in the seventeenth century, although late examples are often notable for engraved decoration. A shaffron extended from the horse’s ears to its muzzle. Flanges often covered the eyes. In an open shaffron, the eyes received no protection. Hinged extensions to cover the jowls were commonly used for jousting tournaments.