This armor was intended for use in the Scharfrennen, a joust fought in an open field by two contestants mounted on horses and armed with relatively sharp lances. The sport remained popular at the court of the prince-electors of Saxony long after it had gone out of fashion elsewhere in Europe.
This is one of more than thirty almost identical armors—some brightly polished and others painted black—formerly kept in the ducal armory in Dresden for use in court tournaments. It is thought that they were made locally by Saxon armorers in Dresden and Annaberg.
Painted inside the backplate is the name Herr von Breitenbach. This refers to Karl Christian von Breitenbach, an officer in the Saxon court from 1694 to 1726, who presumably wore the armor at a wedding tournament held in Dresden on September 12, 1719. This series of armors was used last at a tournament in Dresden in 1936.
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Title:Jousting Armor (Rennzeug)
and Matching Half-Shaffron
Geography:Dresden or Annaberg
Culture:German, probably Dresden or Annaberg
Medium:Steel, copper alloy, leather
Dimensions:Wt. 91 lb. 6 oz. (41.45 kg)
Classification:Armor for Man
Credit Line:Gift of Henry G. Keasbey, 1926
Johan Georg I, Prince Elector of Saxony (by 1624–d. 1656; by descent through his heirs, the Prince-Electors of Saxony); King Anton of Saxony, Dresden (1827–1832; transferred with the contents of the royal and electoral armory to the Historisches Museum); Königliches Historisches Museum, Dresden (1832–1924; returned to Prince Ernst Heinrich for the Verein Haus Wettin, Albertinischer Linie); Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony, as the legal representative of the Verein Haus Wettin, Albertinischer Linie, Moritzburg, Dresden (1924–1926; sold to MMA).
Seattle, Wash. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 11, 1982–June 6, 1982, no. 22.
Denver, Colo. Denver Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," July 18–October 10, 1982, no. 22.
San Antonio, Tex. Witte Museum of the San Antonio Museum Association. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983, no. 22.
Minneapolis, Minn. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 24–July 31, 1983, no. 22.
San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1983–January 28, 1984, no. 22.
Detroit, Mich. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 4–June 17, 1984, no. 22.
Engelhard von Löhneyss, Georg. Della Cavalleria. Remlingen, 1624. (this group of armors discussed).
Ehrenthal, Max von. Führer Durch das Königliche Historische Museum zu Dresden. 3rd ed. Dresden: Wilhelm Baensch, 1899. p. 42 (this and similar tilting armors discussed).
Haenel, Erich. Kostbare Waffen aus der Dresdner Rüstkammer. Leipzig: Hiersemann, 1923. p. 18, pl. 9.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Helmut Nickel, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, and American Federation of Arts. The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Exhibition. New York: The Federation, 1982. pp. 60–63, no. 22, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. How to Read European Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017. pp.94-95, fig. 108, p.145, fig. 157.
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