Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense) with arms of the Freyberg family

ca. 1540
probably Landshut
German, probably Landshut
Steel, pewter, leather, textile, gold
H. 24 7/8 in. (63.2 cm); W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 13 oz. (2188 g)
Equestrian Equipment-Shaffrons
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
This shaffron is fitted with an escutcheon plate bearing the arms of the barons of Freyberg. It comes from the armory at Hohenaschau Castle in Bavaria, the seat of that noble family, and probably belonged to Pancraz von Freyberg (1508–1565), a courtier in the service of the dukes of Bavaria in nearby Munich. Although unmarked, the shaffron is comparable in form to documented examples made in Landshut, a famous Bavarian armor-making center.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Reitzenstein, Alexander von. "Hohenaschauer Waffen." Waffen- und Kostumkunde 4, pt. 1 (1962). pp. 41, 50, fig. 17.

Allentown Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and John Woodman Higgins Armory. Arms and Armor: March 15–June 14, 1964: A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of Stephen V. Grancsay, with Important Contributions by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the John Woodman Higgins Armory, Worcester, Massachusetts. Allentown, Pa.: Allentown Art Museum, 1964. p. 31, no. 34.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Helmut Nickel, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, American Federation of Arts, and Joseph P. Ascherl. The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Exhibition. New York: The Federation, 1982. p. 74, no. 30, ill.

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. p. 45, no. 14, ill.

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