Horse Armor Made for Johann Ernst, Duke of Saxony-Coburg (1521–1553)
Kunz Lochner (German, Nuremberg, 1510–1567)
Steel, leather, copper alloy, textile
Wt. including saddle 92 lb. (41.73 kg)
Armor for Horse
Rogers Fund, 1932
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
Kunz Lochner was one of the few Nuremberg armorers of the mid-sixteenth century to achieve an international reputation. His patrons included the Holy Roman Emperor, the dukes of Saxony, and the king of Poland. This horse armor bears only the Nuremberg mark but can be attributed to Lochner on stylistic grounds. The elaborately embossed and etched decoration of the peytral (chest defense) includes an abbreviated inscription that may be interpreted: 1548 K[rist] I[ch] T[rau] G[anz] V[nd] G[ar] H[ans] E[rnst] H[erzog] Z[u] Sachsen (1548 In Christ I trust wholly, Hans [Johann] Ernst, Duke of Saxony). Duke Johann Ernst (1521–1553) may have commissioned the horse armor for his attendance at the Diet of Augsburg, a political assembly of the German nobility called in 1548 by Charles V to deal with the crisis of the Reformation.
The associated man's armor also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 29.151.2) bears the mark of Nuremberg; Lochner's personal mark, a rampant lion; and the date 1548. The armor was originally part of a small garniture that included exchange elements for field and tournament use. Restorations include the cuirass and the gauntlets.
Inscription: Inscribed on the central plate of the peytral (horse's chest defense): 1548 K[rist] I[ch] T[rau] G[anz] V[nd] G[ar] H[ans] E[rnst] H[erzog] Z[u] Sachsen (1548 In Christ I trust wholly, Hans [Johann] Ernst, Duke of Saxony); in cartouche on the cantle plate, appears to be purposely effaced: possibly I M I, which may be the initials of the etcher; on the pommel of the saddle: K L.
Marking: On the shaffron (horse's head defense): an N within a pearled border on the interior; on the crinet (horse's neck defense): the Nuremberg mark on the lower lame; on the peytral (horse's chest defense): the Nuremberg mark on the exterior; also an N within a pearled circle on the interior; on the left flanchard (horse's flank defense): an N within a pearled border on the interior; on the crupper (horse's rump defense): the Nuremberg mark on the upper narrow lame.
Ex. coll.: Dukes of Saxony; Count Erbach, Odenwald, Germany.