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The couter (also cowter) is a plate defence for the elbow.

They began as shallow, round bowls in the late 13th century (although they are extremely rare before the 14th century and became more conical in shape in the middle of the 14th century. By the middle of the century a wing-like projection had been laced to the couter which was soon riveted to the couter and then became integral. The wing shapes vary considerably.

It could be articulated and attached to the vambrace as well as to the rerebrace to form what we know as the full arm harness.