Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object
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Infantry Shield (Pavise)

Date:
ca. 1450
Geography:
possibly Chomutov
Culture:
Bohemian, possibly Chomutov (now Czech Republic)
Medium:
Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy
Dimensions:
H. 42 1/2 in. (107.95 cm); W. 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm); H. of curvature 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. approximately 1 in. (2.54 cm); Wt. 16 lb. 11 oz. (7569 g)
Classification:
Shields
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929
Accession Number:
29.158.595
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Shields of this type were carried by crossbowmen and other foot soldiers in central Europe during the fifteenth century. They were often fitted with a prop to enable them to be freestanding. This example is painted in the center with a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers, a badge of the kings of Bohemia. Below this is the letter Y on a radiant cloud, possibly the monogram for Yhesus (Jesus). At the top is the coat of arms of the Saxon city of Zwickau (a red shield with three white swans), which was added to the shield at a later date.
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