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Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Hungarian-Style Shield

ca. 1500–1550
Eastern European
Wood, leather, gesso, polychromy
H. 50 in. (127 cm); W. 20 in. (50.8 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
This wing-shaped shield and others like it in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (42.50.30, 49.57.1), with the distinctive upward-sweeping back edge, were the characteristic light-cavalry shields of Hungary. During the sixteenth century, the style was adopted across much of eastern Europe by both Christian and Islamic horsemen. The shield's elongated upper edge was designed to defend the back of the head and neck against cuts from a saber, the preferred cavalry weapon in that region.
Ex. coll.: Robert Curzon, 14th Baron Zouche of Haryngworth, Sussex; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn, New York.
New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor," June 12–October 31, 1933, no. 98.

Auer, Alfred, and Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna. Das Inventarium der Ambraser Sammlungen aus dem Jahr 1621 : I. Teil : die Rüstkammern. Vienna: Anton Schroll, p. CIX, no. 445.

Henri Le Roy. Catalogue Illustré D'armes Anciennes, Européennes Et Orientales, Du Temps Des Croisades, D'objets De Haute Antiquité: [composant La Collection Peucker]. 128. Brussels: Henri Le Roy, August 28–30, 1854. pl. III, fig. 8.

Rolland, Victor, Henri Rolland, and J. G. Petrick. Armoiries des Familles Contenues dans l'Armorial Général de J.B. Rieststap. Vol. III. Paris: Institut Héraldique Universel, 1903–1926. vol. III, pl. CCLII (for arms of Imhof family of Speilberg); vol VI, pl. CXXVIII (for arms of the Voypière family of Lyons).

Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge. Catalogue of a Selected Portion of the Renowned Collections of Armour and Weapons Formed by Robert Curzon (1810–1873) Fourteenth Baron Zouche of Haryngworth... and Now the Propoerty of the Right Hon. Baroness Zouche of Haryngworth. London: Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, November 10–11, 1920.

Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, August 3 to September 27, 1931. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. p. 31, no. 98.

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