Probably by Francesco Negroli (Italian, Milan, died before December 1519)
H. 19 3/8 in. (49.3 cm); W. 15 1/4 in. (39 cm); D. 6 3/4 in. (17.3 cm); Wt. 5 lb. 6 oz. (2461 g)
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2014
Not on view
Judging by the maker's marks stamped on it, this backplate appears to be the only surviving identifiable work by Francesco Negroli, a member of a leading family of Milanese armorers, which, in the next generation, became internationally renowned for their sculpturally embossed armors all'antica (in the antique style). The backplate is in a style known as alla tedesca (in the Germanic fashion), suggesting that it was made for a client north of the Alps.
Marking: Punched at the top of the backplate, in the center just below the angular turned edge, are three armorer's marks: in the center, crossed keys with circular heads, their bits down, surmounted by an open crown (the mark used by members of the Negroli family from ca. 1500–30); to either side are single letters surmounted by an abbreviation sign, that on the left an F (apprently struck over an N), that on the right an N (possibly indicating Francesco Negroli).
Robert Alexander Hillingford, London (until about 1881; sold to Robinson); [Sir John Charles Robinson, London, about 1881–82; sold to Cincinnati Art Museum]; Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, Ohio (1882–1978; sale, William S. Doyle Galleries, New York, December 13, 1978, no. 91, for $110, to a private collector)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor: Notable Acquisitions 2003–2014," November 11, 2014–December 6, 2015.
William Doyle Galleries. Arms and Armor from the Cincinnati Art Museum. New York: William Doyle Galleries, December 13, 1978. p. 14, no. 91.
Kamholtz, Jonathan Z. "Arms and the Museum: The Tower Treasures in a Social Context." Queen City Heritage 42, no. 2 (Summer 1984). pp. 34–48.
Pyhrr, Stuart W., José-A. Godoy, and Silvio Leydi. Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance: Filippo Negroli and His Contemporaries. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1998. pp. 6–7, figs. 11–12.