Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Single Armorial Trophy marked by a Cuirass mounted on a Tree Trunk, Plate 13 from the Libro de' Trofei

Anonymous, Italian, second half of the 16th century
Former Attribution:
Formerly attributed to Enea Vico (Italian, Parma 1523–1567 Ferrara)
Published by Antonio Lafreri (French, Orgelet, Franche-Comte ca. 1512–1577 Rome)
Published in:
ca. 1550–1553
Engraving [state before numbering]
Sheet: 9 in. × 6 9/16 in. (22.9 × 16.7 cm) [sheet has been cropped on or within plate mark]
Albums, Prints, Ornament & Architecture
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1934
Accession Number:
Not on view
Plate with two armorial trophies, presented side by side on the page. The trophy on the left is made up out of four bundles of attributes including shields, a cuirass and head of an elephant, a winged helmet and a banner with the letters S.P.Q.R. The trophy on the right consists of five bundles of attributes including a square quiver with arrows, an oval shield and a round, closed quiver and bow and arrows.

Plate 1 from a series of prints, known as the Libro de' Trofei (Book of Trophies) with designs for armorial trophies in the Antique manner. The designs for the prints were credited to Polidoro da Caravaggio by Antonio Lafreri in his print catalogue of 1573, although the varying character of some of the prints suggests that several sources were used as models. The publication history of this print series is extremely complex, and easily misunderstood. Two different sets appear to have been published in Rome in the second and third quarter of the sixteenth century. Antonio Salamanca published a set of 10 designs, which is known in at least four editions (Salamanca ca. 1540-50; Orazio Pacifico, ca. 1580; Giovanni Battista Rossi, ca. 1640-78; Carlo Losi, 1773). A second series, attributed to Enea Vico by Adam von Bartsch, consisted of 16 plates, including copies in reverse after the Salamanca series, and was published by Lafreri in 1553, although some prints dated 1550 suggest that there may have been another earlier edition. Lafreri's plates passed to Pietro de' Nobili who published the series in 1586 and eventually also came into the possession of Carlo Losi who published them in 1773. Various other copies are known of individual sheets as well as smaller series. Giovannni Orlandi published some of the prints in Rome in 1602. In France, a series of copies in reverse was produced and likely published by Rene Boyvin. His plates were reissued by Pierre Mariette in the seventeenth century. Two distinct series of copies in the etching technique were also made in the seventeenth century.

The present series is pulled from the Lafreri plates. The varying quality of the lines of the plates seems to suggest there may have been two engravers involved in the production of the plates.
Inscription: 'ANT LAFRERI' [burnished away but still legible]; 'ANT / LAFRERI'
Vendor: B. T. Batsford, Ltd. (London)
B.XV.355.448;TIB.30.287.448; Miller 1999, cat. no 50e [pl. 13]
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