Armor for the Tilt

Attributed to Anton Peffenhauser German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371

This armor has an elegant sculptural quality that is characteristic of the finest Augsburg armors. It is identical in appearance to a series of tournament armors ordered by the duke of Bavaria in 1579–80 from Anton Peffenhauser, the leading armorer in Augsburg during the second half of the sixteenth century. In the joust, or tilt, in the German fashion, two contestants armed with blunt lances rode at one another, left side to left side, separated by a barrier (called a tilt), the object being to break lances or unseat the opponent. Because the left side of the rider was thus particularly vulnerable, it was given additional protection in the form of large, smooth reinforcing plates that would deflect the blow of the lance. Characteristic of these armors are the helm screwed to the breastplate and backplate, the tilt targe (the cape-like defense for the left shoulder) screwed directly to the breastplate, a passguard (the reinforcing plate over the left elbow), and the manifer (overized left gauntlet).

Armor for the Tilt, Attributed to Anton Peffenhauser (German, Augsburg, 1525–1603), Steel, brass, leather, German, Augsburg

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