Art/ Collection/ Art Object


Probably by Francesco Negroli (Italian, Milan, died before December 1519)
ca. 1505–10
Italian, Milan
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)
Armor Parts-Backplates
Credit Line:
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2014
Accession Number:
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.

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