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Morion for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Probably Martin Schneider the Younger (German, Nuremberg, active ca. 1610–20)

Date:
ca. 1570
Geography:
Nuremberg
Culture:
German, Nuremberg
Medium:
Steel, etched and gilt; gilt brass; leather
Dimensions:
Wt., 3 lb. 5 oz. (1503 g); H., 11 9/16 in. (29.36 cm); W., 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.633
  • Description

    The electors of Saxony appear to have been the only German princes in the sixteenth century to outfit their bodyguards with matching equipment. The guards' helmets are etched and gilt on one side with the coat of arms of the dukedom of Saxony and on the other side with the crossed swords that signify the duke's office as archmarshal of the Holy Roman Empire. Originally, the gilt decoration was contrasted with black painted surfaces (some now polished bright). The black and gold derived from the Saxon coat of arms and were also the colors of the guards' uniforms. This helmet and a similar one also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 14.25.652) were made by armorers in Nuremberg.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Stamped on the right side of the brim near the front of the peak: the guild mark of Nuremberg and an armorer's mark consisting of a pair of shears surmounted by the initials M[?]. The armorer's mark is similar to that of Martin Schneider the Younger, found on the half armor (acc. no. 14.25.684);

    On the interior of the left side of the brim: part of the letter N enclosed in a circle.

  • Provenance

    Ex. coll.: Royal Armory, Dresden, Germany (thru Buttner); William H. Riggs.

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