Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Armor

Date:
ca. 1560–65
Geography:
possibly Brunswick-Wölfenbüttel
Culture:
Northern German, possibly Brunswick-Wölfenbüttel
Medium:
Steel, leather
Dimensions:
Wt. 28 lb. 14 oz. (13.1 kg); helmet: Wt. 5 lb. 10 oz. (2551 g); breastplate: Wt.10 lb. 15oz. (4961 g)
Classification:
Armor for Man-1/2 Armor
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.711a–d
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
This is one of a group of finely etched armors made for the court of Duke Julius of Brunswick-Wölfenbüttel (1528–1589). The armors are decorated similarly with satyrs, allegorical figures, and grotesques, many of which are derived from prints by Cornelis Bos and Virgil Solis. The group is distinguished further, as is the armor displayed here, by the device on the breast: a quatrefoil above a crowned heart, which is flanked by two pairs of clasped hands and the initials HI (Herzog Iulius, meaning “Duke Julius” or “Heinrich Julius”). The scene depicted in the quatrefoil is the Old Testament story of Daniel in the lions’ den. Around the border runs an inscription that reads in translation, “Oh God, protect no more than my life, soul, property, and honor.” It is thought that this group of armors was commissioned about 1563, to commemorate the reconciliation of Julius and his father, Duke Heinrich (died 1568), and the reinstatement of Julius to the ducal succession.
Inscription: Inscribed around the etched medallion on the left side of the breastplate: ACH GOTT BEWA[HR] M[IR NI]CHT MEHR LEIB SELE GVT V[ND] EHR (Oh God, protect no more than my life, soul, property, and honor); also on the breastplate: a quatrefoil above a crowned heart, flanked by two pairs of clased hands and the initials HI (Herzog Iulius).
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 11–June 6, 1982.

San Antonio. The Witte Memorial Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983.

Detroit. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 10, 1983–June 2, 1984.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 24–July 31, 1983.

San Francisco. de Young Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1983–January 28, 1984.

Bohlmann, Robert, Wendelin Boeheim, Eduard von Lenz, and O.V. Hortstein. "Die Braunschweigischen Waffen auf Schloss Blankenburg am Harz." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffenkunde 6 (1914). pp. 333–58, figs.5, 8.

Kienbusch, Carl Otto von. The Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1963. similar armor, cat. nos. 13, 24, 25, 132, 133, 134.

von Rohr, Alheidis. "Braunschweigischen Prunkharnisch des Herzog Julius." Waffen- und Kostümkunde, Heft 1 and 2, 30 (1988). pp. 114, 117, 125, fig. 23.



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