Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Armor for Man and Horse Presumably Made for Baron Pankraz von Freyberg (1508–1565)

Wolfgang Grosschedel (German, Landshut, active ca. 1517–62)
man's armor, ca. 1535–40; horse armor, dated 1554; saddle steels, later restorations
German, Landshut
Steel; leather, copper alloy, textile
Wt. of man's armor approx. 55 lb. 11 oz. (25.25 kg); Wt. of horse armor with saddle 65 lb. 7 oz. (29.69 kg)
Armor for Horse and Man
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1923
Accession Number:
On View
Wolfgang Grosschedel was the most famous Landshut armorer of his generation. Included among his patrons were the Holy Roman Emperor and Philip II of Spain. These armors for man and horse constitute superb examples of Grosschedel's work from different periods in his career.

The man's armor, dating from about 1535–40, is stamped with Grosschedel's personal mark and that of Landshut. The etched decoration includes human figures and ornaments copied from engravings by the German printmaker Barthel Beham (1502–1540). The armor is part of a garniture that originally included exchange elements for use in battle and in the tourney, a mock combat fought with lances and swords.

The horse armor, dated 1554, is complete and homogeneous and, though unmarked, can be attributed to Grosschedel on stylistic grounds. The escutcheon on the shaffron (defense for the horse's head) bears the arms of a member of the Bavarian family Freyberg von Aschau, possibly Pankraz von Freyberg (1508–1565). The armors for both man and horse were preserved together in the armory of Hohenaschau Castle, the historical seat of the Freybergs, until the mid-nineteenth century.
Inscription: Inscribed on the shaffron, rein plate, and crupper: 1554.

Marking: Stamped on the breastplate: W (Grosschedel's personal mark), and the mark of the city of Landshut (a small helmet).
Presumably made for Baron Pankraz von Freyberg, Aschau, Germany (ca. 1535–d. 1565); preserved in Hohenaschau Castle, Aschau in Chiemgau, Germany (1565–mid-19th century); Count György László Festetics de Tolna, Vienna (mid-19th century–d. 1883); by descent to Prince Tasziló Festetics de Tolna, Vienna (from 1883); Prince Eugen Czernin, Petersburg Castle, Bohemia (by 1923; sold to MMA).
Hollstein, F. W. H. German Engravings, Etchings and Woodcuts. Vol. 2. Amsterdam: Menno Hertzberger & Co., p. 184.

Waffensammlung [Max] Kuppelmayr. Munich: J.M. Heberlé, Cologne, Mar. 26–28, 1895. no. 44, pl 19.

Dean, Bashford. "Armor for Horse and Man." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 19, no. 2 (February 1924). pp. 38–42, figs. 1–5.

Mann, James G., and Friedrich Lammert. "Die Waffensammlung auf Warwick Castle." Zeitschrift für historische Waffen- und Kostümkund XV, 2 Teil (1937). p. 160.

Wallace Collection and James G. Mann. European Arms and Armour. Vol. I. London: Printed for the Trustees by W. Clowes and sold at Hertford House, 1962. pp. 135–136, 179–180, pl. 72.

Reitzenstein, Alexander von. "Hohenaschauer Waffen." Waffen- und Kostumkunde 4, pt. 1 (1962). pp. 37–38, 47, figs. 8–10, 29.

Reitzenstein, Alexander. Der Waffenschmied: Vom Handwerk Der Schwertschmiede, Plattner Und Büchsenmacher. Munich: Prestel Verlag, 1964. p. 62, fig. 37, ill.

Liedke, Ursula. "Die Lanshuter Plattner Wofgang und Franz Grosschedel." Beilage zum Amtliche Schul-Anzeiger für den Regierungsbezirk Niederbayern 6 (1 December, 1971). p. 12, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 126, ill.

Spitzlberger, Georg. Landshuter Plattnerkunst, Ein überblick mit Katalog der Ausstellung, vom 14. Juni bis 20. Juli 1975, täglich 9–17 Uhr, im Deutschen Saal der Stadtresidenz. Landshut: K. Möginger, June 14–July 20, 1975. pp. 4, 32, 75–76, no. 46, ill. pls. 38–39 and cover.

Thomas, Bruno. "Der Turiner Prunkharnisch für Feld und Turnier B.2 des Nürnberger Patriziers Wilhelm Rieter von Boxberg-Meisterwerk von Kolman Helmschmid zu Augsburg um 1525." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien LXXIII (1977). p. 153.

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. pp. 25–26, figs. 21–22.

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