Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Half Armor

Armorer:
Helmet and reinforcing pieces attributed to Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532)
Date:
ca. 1510–20 and later
Geography:
Augsburg
Culture:
German, Augsburg
Medium:
Steel
Dimensions:
as mounted, H. 37 in. (94 cm)
Classification:
Armor for Man-1/2 Armor
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Bequest of Bashford Dean, 1928
Accession Number:
29.150.6
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374
The design of armor was often influenced by the style of men’s clothing. From about 1510 to about 1530, in southern Germany and Austria, this trend was taken to an extreme in elaborate armor that directly imitated flamboyant puffed and slashed costume. Only the most skillful and inventive armorers could successfully re-create cut-velvet and embroidered silk in hammered and etched steel. The most renowned practitioners of this demanding style were Conrad Seusenhofer (active 1500–1517) of Innsbruck and Kolman Helmschmid (1471–1532) of Augsburg, both of whom worked for the imperial court.

The helmets of costume armors frequently included visors that were embossed to represent exaggerated human or animal masks. Such mask-visors were inspired in part by the masks worn in the traditional pre-Lenten carnivals that were popular throughout Germany.
Radiziwill Collection (in part)
Christie, Manson & Woods. Fine Armour. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, June 29, 1926. no. 40, ill.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Carl Otto von Kienbusch. The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Portland, Maine: Southworth Press for the Armor and Arms Club of New York City, 1933. pp. 70–77, no. 7, pl. XV.

Thomas, Bruno. "Der Wiener Prunkharnisch des Wilhelm von Rogendorf." Das Antiquariat (1952), pp. 84–86.

Gamber, Ortwin. "Kolman Helmshmid, Ferdinand I. und das Thun'sche Skizzenbuch." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistroischen Sammlungen in Wien 71 p. 30, fig. 39.

Thomas, Bruno. "Der Turiner Prunkharnisch für Feld und Turnier B.2 des Nürnberger Patriziers Wilhelm Rieter von Boxberg: Meisterwerk von Kolman Helmschmid zu Augsburg um 1525." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien (1977), p. 137.

Thomas, Bruno. Gesammelte Schriften Zur Historischen Waffenkunde: [überarb. Nachdr. Von 88 in Fachzeitschriften U. Einzelpublikationen Ersch. Abhandlungen Des Autors]. Vol. 2. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1977. pp. 1163–70.

La Rocca, Donald J. How to Read European Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017. p. 68, fig. 74.

Related Objects

Reinforcing Pieces for the Tourney

Artist: Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1510–15 Medium: Steel, copper alloy, gold Accession: 29.150.6d, f, m–p On view in:Gallery 374

Armet for the Tourney

Artist: Attributed to Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1515–20 Medium: Steel, copper alloy Accession: 29.150.6a, b On view in:Gallery 374

Armet

Artist: Attributed to Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1525 Medium: Steel Accession: 50.237.2 On view in:Gallery 371

Right Arm Defense

Artist: Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1520 Medium: Steel, leather Accession: 32.75.92 On view in:Not on view

Left Arm Defense

Artist: Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1520 Medium: Steel Accession: 29.158.123a On view in:Not on view