Costume Armor in the Classical Style
- Helmet includes original paper label of Hallé (French, Paris, active ca. 1780–1800)
- ca. 1788–90
- French, Paris
- Linen, papier-mâché, bole, gold leaf, graphite (helmet); silk, cotton, metal coils and spangles, metallic yarn (tunic)
- armor: H. 26 3/4 (68 cm); W. 22 7/16 (57 cm); D. 11 in. (28 cm); helmet: H. 15 3/4 (40 cm); W. 7 11/16 (19.5 cm); D. 13 3/4 in. (35 cm)
- Credit Line:
- Funds from various donors, 1988
- Accession Number:
Pageants in pseudoclassical dress were popular in Europe from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century. An elaborate costume of the kind displayed here may have been worn for a theatrical performance or a court festivity, such as a ball or carousel in which the theme was taken from classical mythology or history. The embroidered tunic represents an embossed bronze cuirass of the type worn by high-ranking Roman officers. The stylized Greek helmet is richly decorated with mythological and allegorical figures. Inside the helmet is the original paper label that identifies the Parisian maker as Halle dit Mercier and advertises his ability to provide helmets, shields, masks, costumes, and scenery for any occasion.
Georges Pauilhac, Toulouse (until d. 1958; by inheritance to his granddaughter; his sale, Chassaing & Rivet Commissaires Priseurs, Hôtel des Ventes Saint-Georges, Toulouse, March 23, 1983, no. 85); Anonymous (until 1987; Versteigerung wertvoller antiker Waffen, seltener Militaria und bedeuntender historischer Sammlungsstücke sale, Mars & Merkur GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, May 23, 1987, no. 86, to an anonymous buyer); Anonymous (1987–1988; sold through Mars & Merkur Kunsthandels GmbH to MMA, 1988)
Fontainebleau. Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau. "Théâtre De Cour: Les Spectacles À Fontainebleau Au XVIIIe Siècle," October 18, 2005–January 23, 2006.
Rambaud, Mireille, and Archives Nationales. Documents du Minutier Central Concernant L'histoire de L'art (1700–1750). Vol. 1. Paris: S. E. V. P. E. N., 1964. p. 169.
Hôtel des Ventes Saint-Georges. Etriers, armes, pièces d'armures ayant appartenus à Georges Paulihac. Toulouse: Hôtel des Ventes Saint-Georges, 1983. no. 85.
Mars & Merkur. Wertvolle Antike Waffen, Seltene Militaria Und Bedeutende Historische Sammlungsstücke. Frankfurt: Mars & Merkur, 1987. no. 86.
Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Textiles in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Winter 1995–96), p. 54, ill.
Droguet, Vincent, and Marc-Henri Jordan. Théâtre De Cour: Les Spectacles À Fontainebleau Au Xviiie Siècle: Musée National Du Château De Fontainebleau, 18 Octobre 2005–23 Janvier 2006. Paris: Réunion des Musées Nationaux, 2005. pp. 107–108, no. 58, ill.