The short-time shear and bulk moduli of articular cartilage were determined experimentally using torsional shear and uniaxial confined compression tests. These results are compared to the values of shear moduli predicted by using data from indenter tests and the theoretical solution for the identation of a rigid punch pressed into an elastic layer bonded to a rigid halfspace. To verify the effectiveness of predicting moduli from indenter tests, control experiments were performed on polyurethane rubber. Although they accurately predict the elastic properties for rubber, the nonlinearity, anisotropy and non-homogeneity of articular cartilage make indenter tests less appropriate for use with cartilage. The predicted and measured values correlate but with considerable dispersion. The short-time shear modulus of articular cartilage, including both healthy and diseased samples, were found to vary over the range 4–35 × 10⁵ N/m² and the short-time bulk modulus over the range 9–170 × 10⁶ N/m². The means of tissue storage was found to have a major effect on the measured mechanical properties.