This wing-shaped shield and others like it in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (42.50.29, 49.57.1), with the distinctive upward-sweeping back edge, were the characteristic light-cavalry shields of Hungary. During the sixteenth century, the style was adopted across much of eastern Europe by both Christian and Islamic horsemen. The shield's elongated upper edge was designed to defend the back of the head and neck against cuts from a saber, the preferred cavalry weapon in that region.
Ex. coll.: Archduke Eugen, Castle Engelstein and Fortress Hohenwerfen, Austria; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, New York.