Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Infantry Shield (Pavise)

ca. 1450
possibly Chomutov
Bohemian, possibly Chomutov (now Czech Republic)
Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy
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)
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929
Accession Number:
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.
Ex. coll.: Schloss Rheinstein, Saxony; Dr. W. Wilbrand, Darmstadt; Bashford Dean, New York.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Carl Otto von Kienbusch. The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Portland, Maine: Southworth Press for the Armor and Arms Club of New York City, 1933.

Kienbusch, Carl Otto von. The Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Library, 1963.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer 1991). pp. 34–35, 64, ill. p. 34.

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