Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Morion for the Bodyguard of the Prince-Elector of Saxony

Date:
ca. 1570
Geography:
Nuremberg
Culture:
German, Nuremberg
Medium:
Steel, gold, brass, leather
Dimensions:
H. 11 3/8 in. (28.9 cm); W. 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm); D. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 5 oz. (1956 g)
Classification:
Helmets
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.652
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
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. 14.25.633) were made by armorers in Nuremberg.
Marking: Marked on the front on the left side of the brim: I M.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Los Angeles. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," January 15–March 18, 1953, no. 30.

San Francisco. California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 18–June 7, 1953, no. 30.

San Francisco. Legion of Honor, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor," April 18, 1953—June 7, 1953.

Pittsburgh. Department of Fine Arts, Carnegie Institute. "Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," October 1953–April 1954, no. 30.

Hagerstown. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 27–March 31, 1955, no. 28.

Newark. Newark Museum Association. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 15–September 15, 1955, no. 28.

Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of Mediaeval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1953. p. 15, no. 30.



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