Left Gauntlet

probably Austrian, Innsbruck

Not on view

The long, slender cuff is semicircular in section and has a low medial ridge; its upper edge is obliquely cut on the inner side, with turned edge, to facilitate the bending of the elbow. A plate to cover the inside of the lower arm was formerly attached to the cuff by hinges and a strap and buckle (one of the hinges and the buckle remain). The two holes at the top of the cuff allowed the gauntlet to be attached directly to the cowter (elbow cop). The back of the hand is covered by five metacarpal plates, the upper two embossed over the ulna, and an embossed knuckleplate connects the metacarpal lames to the five finger lames of mitten type. The base of the cuff is decorated with V-shaped flutes radiating upward, the area between them filled with a diamond-shaped panel embossed in low relief; V-shaped flutes radiate in a downward directiona cross the back of the hand and fingers. The points of the knuckles are outlined with engraved diamond shapes.

This unusual type of gauntlet covered the lower arm up to the elbow and was secured to the cowter by a "point" (lace), and consequently eliminated the need for the lower vambrace. Elbow gauntlets of this type were worn in Germany and Austria at the very end of the fifteenth century, and one of this type is illustrated in Dürer's famous engraving Knight, Death, and the Devil, which is dated 1513 but which illustrates an armor of about 1490 (acc. no. 42.160.2). Though unmarked, this gauntlet is similar to several other elbow gauntlets stamped with the marks of Innsbruck armorers that are preserved in the Waffensammlung, Vienna, and Churburg Castle, Slulderno (Italy). The long, slender proportions of this gauntlet and the linear emphasis created by its radiating fluted surfaces are features typical of late fifteenth-century German armor and are quite distinct from the fuller, more rounded forms of contemporary Italian armor.

Left Gauntlet, Steel, probably Austrian, Innsbruck

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.