Armor for the Tilt

Attributed to Anton Peffenhauser (German, Augsburg, 1525–1603)

ca. 1580
German, Augsburg
Steel, brass, leather
H. 68 3/4 in. (174.6 cm); W. at shoulders 18 in. (45.72 cm); Wt. 81 lb. (36.8 kg)
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Gift of Helen Fahnestock Hubbard, in memory of her father, Harris C. Fahnestock, 1929
Accession Number:
  • Description

    This armor has an elegant sculptural quality that is characteristic of the finest Augsburg armors. It is identical in appearance to a series of tournament armors ordered by the duke of Bavaria in 1579–80 from Anton Peffenhauser, the leading armorer in Augsburg during the second half of the sixteenth century. In the joust, or tilt, in the German fashion, two contestants armed with blunt lances rode at one another, left side to left side, separated by a barrier (called a tilt), the object beign to break lances or unseat the opponent. Because the left side of the rider was thus particularly vulnerable, it was given additional protection in the form of large, smooth reinforcing plates that would deflect the blow of the lance. Characteristic of these armors are the helm screwed to the breastplate and backplate, the tilt targe (the cape-like defense for the left shoulder) screwed directly to the breastplate, a passguard (the reinforcing plate over the left elbow), and the manifer (overized left gauntlet).

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Marking: Stamped on the outer face of the bevor (face and neck defense), breastplate, and backplate: the Augsburg fir cone;

    On in the inner face of the nape of the helmet bowl, bevor, breastplate, backplate, tilt targe (left shoulder reinforce), right pauldron (shoulder defense), right arm, right gauntlet, and both greaves (lower leg defenses): the letter A with a pearled border;

    On the outer face near the nape: a punch mark (used to correctly match bolts to appropriate screw holes, and to identify parts of a given armor with its corrseponding parts);

    On the outer face of the bevor, breastplate, backplate, tilt targe, right pauldron, right arm, both cuisses (thigh defenses), and both greaves: a crescent and a punch mark.

  • See also