Infantry Shield (Pavise)

Date: ca. 1450

Geography: possibly Chomutov

Culture: Bohemian, possibly Chomutov (now Czech Republic)

Medium: Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy

Dimensions: H. 42 1/2 in. (107.95 cm); W. 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm); H. of curvature 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. approximately 1 in. (2.54 cm); Wt. 16 lb. 11 oz. (7569 g)

Classification: Shields

Credit Line: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929

Accession Number: 29.158.595

Description

Shields of this type were carried by crossbowmen and other foot soldiers in central Europe during the fifteenth century. This example is painted in the center with a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers, a badge of the kings of Bohemia. Below this is the letter Y on a radiant cloud, possibly the monogram for Yhesus (Jesus). At the top is the coat of arms of the Saxon city of Zwickau (a red shield with three white swans), which was added to the shield at a later date.

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