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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Infantry Shield (Pavise)

ca. 1450
possibly Chomutov
Bohemian, possibly Chomutov (now Czech Republic)
Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychromy
H. 42 1/2 in. (107.95 cm); W. 20 1/2 in. (52.07 cm); H. of curvature 5 in. (12.7 cm); D. approximately 1 in. (2.54 cm); Wt. 16 lb. 11 oz. (7569 g)
Credit Line:
Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Shields of this type were carried by crossbowmen and other foot soldiers in central Europe during the fifteenth century. They were often fitted with a prop to enable them to be freestanding. This example is painted in the center with a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers, a badge of the kings of Bohemia. Below this is the letter Y on a radiant cloud, possibly the monogram for Yhesus (Jesus). At the top is the coat of arms of the Saxon city of Zwickau (a red shield with three white swans), which was added to the shield at a later date.
Schloss Rheinstein, Saxony[Dr. W. Wilbrand, Darmstadt (until 1921; sold to Dean for 75,000 Marks]; Bashford Dean, New York (until d. 1928; sold to MMA through his estate, 1929).
Matejko. "Ceské Pavésy." Památek Archaeologickýck a Mistopisných 20, seš. 3–4 p. 11 (similar shields discussed and illustrated ?).

Lenz, Eduard von. "Pavesen und Tartschen aus dem XV. Jahrhundert." Zeitschrift für historische Waffenkunde (1901). pp. 224–31 (similar shields discussed and illustrated).

Stockhammer, Gustav. "Ennser Tartschenn." Zeitschrift für historische Waffenkunde 7, heft 5 (1915). pp. 130–35 (similar shields discussed and illustrated).

Hauptmann, Felix. "Eine Prager Tartsche des Dresdner Historischen Museums." Zeitschrift für historische Waffenkunde (1918). pp. 82–83 (a similar shield discussed and illustrated).

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. 161–62, no. 86, pl. XLIII.

Denkstein, Vladimir. "Die Zwickauer Pavesen Böhmschen Ursprungs." Sächsische Heimatblätter 9 (1958). p. 14.

Denkstein, Vladimir. "Pavézy Českého Typu, Část I." Acta Musei Nationalis Pragae 16, no 4–5 (1962). p. 223, no. 37, pl. 42.

Kienbusch, Carl Otto von. The Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection of Armor and Arms. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Library, 1963. p. 139, no. 282, pl. LXXXVII.

Nickel, Helmut. "Ceremonial Arrowheads from Bohemia." Metropolitan Museum Journal 1 (1968). pp. 68–69, fig. 22.

Nickel, Helmut. Warriors and Worthies: Arms and Armor Through the Ages. New York: Atheneum, 1969. p. 62, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer, 1991). pp. 34–35, 64 (notes).

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