Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Left Vambrace (Arm Defense)

Armorer:
Attributed to Anton Peffenhauser (German, Augsburg, 1525–1603)
Date:
ca. 1580
Geography:
Augsburg
Culture:
German, Augsburg
Medium:
Steel, brass, leather
Classification:
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.689h
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
This left vambrace belongs to an armor (acc. no. 29.154.1) with an elegant sculptural quality that is characteristic of the finest Augsburg armors. It is identical in appearance to a series of tournament armors ordered by the duke of Bavaria in 1579–80 from Anton Peffenhauser, the leading armorer in Augsburg during the second half of the sixteenth century. In the joust, or tilt, in the German fashion, two contestants armed with blunt lances rode at one another, left side to left side, separated by a barrier (called a tilt), the object beign to break lances or unseat the opponent. Because the left side of the rider was thus particularly vulnerable, it was given additional protection in the form of large, smooth reinforcing plates that would deflect the blow of the lance. Characteristic of these armors are the helm screwed to the breastplate and backplate, the tilt targe (the cape-like defense for the left shoulder) screwed directly to the breastplate, a passguard (the reinforcing plate over the left elbow), and the manifer (overized left gauntlet).
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
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