Jousting Armor (Rennzeug) 
and Matching Half-Shaffron, Steel, copper alloy, leather, German, probably Dresden or Annaberg

Jousting Armor (Rennzeug) and Matching Half-Shaffron

Date:
ca. 1580–90
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
Accession Number:
26.92.3a–w
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
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.
Ex. coll.: Prince Ernst Heinrich of Saxony, Dresden, Germany.
Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 11–June 6, 1982, no. 22.

Denver. 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. The Witte Memorial Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983, no. 22.

Minneapolis. 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. de Young Museum, 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. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," March 10, 1984–June 2, 1984, no. 22.

Engelhard von Löhmeyss, Georg. Della Cavalleria. Remlingen, 1624. (this group of armors discussed).

von Ehrenthal, M. Führer Durch das Königliche Historische Museum zu Dresden. 3rd ed. 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.

The 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.