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Mace Made for Henry II of France

Diego de Çaias (Spanish, recorded 1535–49)

Date:
ca. 1540
Culture:
French
Medium:
Steel, damascened with gold and silver
Dimensions:
L. 24 in. (60.96 cm); W. 4 1/2 in. (11.43 cm); Wt. 3 lb. 8 oz. (1588 g)
Classification:
Shafted Weapons
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
04.3.59
  • Description

    This mace bears the emblems and mottoes of Henry II (reigned 1547–59) and the signature of the Spanish-born swordsmith and damascener Diego de Çaias, who worked for the French court from 1535 to 1542 and then in England at the court of Henry VIII. The mace appears to have been made for Henry between the time he became dauphin (heir apparent) in 1539 and de Çaias's departure for England in 1542. The tiny multifigured battle scenes in gold and silver are characteristic of de Çaias's work.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed on the head between two flanges: DIDACVS DE ÇAIAS FACIEBAD (Diego de Çaias made it);

    On one facet of the shaft: DECVS ET TVTAMEN IN ARMIS (glory and defense in arms) from Virgil's Aeneid, V, 262;

    On one facet of the shaft: DONEC TOTVM IMPLEAT ORBEM (until [it] fills up the whole world), the motto used by Henry II of France with his device of interlacing crescents.

  • Provenance

    Ex. coll.: Don José de Argaiz, Madrid; Frédéric Spitzer, Paris; Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino, Paris.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
21945

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