Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Horse Armor Made for a Member of the Collalto Family

Date:
ca. 1560 and later
Geography:
probably Milan
Culture:
Italian, probably Milan
Medium:
Steel, gold, leather
Dimensions:
Horse armor with saddle: Wt., 87 lb. 14 oz. (39.85 kg); horse armor: Wt., 65 lb. 1 oz. (29.5 kg) Bit: H. of the cheekpieces 9 1/4 (23 cm); W. 6 1/4 (15.9 cm)
Classification:
Armor for Horse
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1921
Accession Number:
21.139.2a–h
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
This horse armor, dating from about 1560, is one of the few complete examples of its period to be preserved. It comes from the armory of the counts Collalto at the castle of San Salvatore, near Treviso, where it was presumably kept from the late sixteenth until the early twentieth century. The bands of etched ornament include classically inspired trophies of arms and armor and musical instruments. These were standard decorative motifs on Italian armor of the period, but here, they are depicted with much more precision, on a larger scale, and in far greater detail and variety than usual. The high quality of the horse armor and its elaborate decoration indicate that it must have belonged to a leading member of the Collalto family, perhaps Collatino Collalto (1523–1569), who was famous both as a soldier and as a man of letters.

The associated man's armor also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 14.25.717a–r), dating from about 1575, is part of a small garniture that included exchange elements for the battlefield and reinforcing pieces for the tournament. The breastplate is a restoration.
Ex. coll.: Castle of the Counts of Collalto in Treviso, Italy; S. Wendlinger, Austria.
Indianapolis. Indianapolis Museum of Art. "Treasures from the Metropolitan," October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971, no. 33.

Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 11–June 6, 1982, no. 19b.

Denver. Denver Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 18–October 10, 1982, no. 19b.

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, no. 19b.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 24–July 31, 1983, no. 19b.

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, no. 19b.

Detroit. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 10, 1984–June 2, 1984, no. 19b.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Costume Institute. "Man and the Horse: an illustrated history of equestrian apparel," December 3, 1984–September 1, 1985 Featured on pg. 16 of catalogue.

Dean, Bashford. "Two Horse Panoplies in the Armor Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 17, no. 9 (September 1922). pp. 190–93, frontispiece, ill.

Indianapolis Museum of Art. Treasures from the Metropolitan: Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971, edited by Carl J. Weinhardt Jr. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, 1970. p. 46, no. 33, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde. Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 127, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Helmut Nickel, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, American Federation of Arts, and Joseph P. Ascherl. The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Exhibition. New York: The Federation, 1982. pp. 54–55, 57, no. 19b, ill.

Mackay-Smith, Alexander, Jean L. Druesedow, and Thomas Ryder. Man and the Horse: An Illustrated History of Equestrian Apparel. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1984. p. 16, ill.

Passolunghi, Pier Angelo. Archivio per Susegana. Susegana [Italy]: Amministrazione comunale, Biblioteca comunale, 1985. (the Castle of S. Salvatore and the Counts of Collalto discussed).

Passolunghi, Pier Angelo. Catalogo per Susegana. Susegana [Italy]: Amministrazione comunale, Biblioteca comunale, 1989. pp. 265–67, pl. 85.

Passolunghi, Pier Angelo. La Barriera Fatta nel Castello di S. Salvatore: Descritta per Giovanni dalla Torre nell'Anno 1599. Susegana [Italy]: Amministrazione comunale, Biblioteca comunale, 1991. p. XLI.

Di Collalto, Orlando. "Schegge Sparse." In I Collalto: Conti Di Treviso, Patrizi Veneti, Principi Dell'impero: 958–1998: Atti Del Convegno 23 Maggio 1998, Castello Di San Salvatore, Susegana. Vittorio Veneto [Italy]: Grafiche De Bastiani, 1998. pp. 86–90.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Dirk H. Breiding. The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480–1620. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. p. 26, figs. 23, 24.

Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 70, no. 1 (Summer 2012). pp. 5, 22, ill.



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