Armor for Man and Horse

man's armor, ca. 1575; horse armor, ca. 1560
probably Milan
Italian, probably Milan
Steel, etched and partly gilt; leather, copper alloy, textile
Man's armor: approximate Wt., 47 lb. 5 oz. (21.5 kg); horse armor with saddle: Wt., 87 lb. 14 oz. (39.85 kg)
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Man's armor, saddle, spurs: Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913; horse armor, stirrups: Fletcher Fund, 1921
Accession Number:
14.25.717a,c–r,1653,.1720; 21.139.2,.9–.10
  • Description

    The man's armor, dating from about 1575, is part of a small garniture that included exchange elements for the battlefield and reinforcing pieces for the tournament. The breastplate is a restoration.

    The horse armor, dating from about 1560, is one of the few complete examples of its period to be preserved. It comes from the armory of the counts Collalto at the castle of San Salvatore, near Treviso, where it was presumably kept from the late sixteenth until the early twentieth century. The bands of etched ornament include classically inspired trophies of arms and armor and musical instruments. These were standard decorative motifs on Italian armor of the period, but here, they are depicted with much more precision, on a larger scale, and in far greater detail and variety than usual. The high quality of the horse armor and its elaborate decoration indicate that it must have belonged to a leading member of the Collalto family, perhaps Collatino Collalto (1523–1569), who was famous both as a soldier and as a man of letters.

  • Provenance

    Ex. coll.: Man's armor: D. A. Kuhn; William H. Riggs, Paris; horse armor and stirrups: Castle of the Counts of Collalto in Treviso, Italy; S. Wendlinger, Austria; spurs: Ernest de Rozière; Wagner; saddle: Maréschal, Marquis de Pérignon (1754–1818); Jules Amen, Toulouse; William H. Riggs, Paris.Previously owned by le comte de Clermont ; Previously owned by Duke of Lorraine

  • See also
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History