Kolman Helmschmid (1471–1532)
Steel, embossed, etched, and gilded
Backplate and rump defense: Gift of Bashford Dean, 1924; Arms: Mrs. Stephen V. Harkness Fund, 1926 (24.179; 26.188.1,2)
This armor reproduces in steel the extravagant puffed-and-slashed costume of the German Landsknechte (mercenary infantry troops). The matching pieces are preserved in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris. They were originally part of the Radziwill armory in Nieswiez, which was within the Grand Duchy of Lithuania when this armor was made, later became part of Poland, and is now in the Republic of Belarus. This armor was probably commissioned for Jerzy Herkules Radziwill, a powerful Polish nobleman, military commander, and patron of the arts. Kolman Helmschmid, who created the armor, was one of the most sought after craftsmen of his generation, famous for his artistic and technically innovative approach to armor making.