Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Infantry Armor

ca. 1600
German, Nuremberg
Steel, leather
H. 49 1/14 in. (125 cm)
Armor for Man-1/2 Armor
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
The armorers of Nuremberg were famous for their ability to produce large quantities of plate armor relatively quickly. In the second half of the sixteenth century, they specialized in making high-quality infantry armors with simple but bold decoration in the form of bright bands that contrast with the black-painted surfaces. This late example is typical of these armors for its open-faced helmet (burgonet) and plates covering only the upper half of the arms, the torso, and the legs from the hips to the knees. The blackened surfaces presumably rendered the armor less susceptible to rust, so that it required little maintenance.
Marking: On the breastplate: the Nuremberg guild mark.
ex collection: von Pfinzing family, Nuremberg; G. F. Geuder [dealer], Nuremberg (until 1880); Costantino Ressman, Florence, Italy (until 1882);William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Birmingham. Birmingham Museum of Art. "Arms and Armor, loan exhibition from MMA," December, 1951–December, 1977 (no catalogue).

American Art Association. Important Collection of European Arms and Armor from XI to XVIII Century. New York: American Art Association, December 5–6, 1924. no. 128 (a similar armor).

Nickel, Helmut. Ullstein-Waffenbuch: Eine Kulturhistorische Waffenkunde Mit Markenverzeichnis. Berlin: Ullstein, 1974. p. 123, ill.

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