Possibly the last royal armor made in Europe, this is believed to have been presented to the five-year-old Infante Luis (1707–1724), prince of Asturias, by his great-grandfather Louis XIV of France (1638–1715, reigned from 1643). Luis was the first Spanish-born Bourbon heir to the throne of Spain and ruled briefly as Luis I in 1724. The armor is signed and dated on the backplate Drouar Ordinaire du Roi aux Heaume à Paris 1712 (Drouar, armorer-in-ordinary to the king, at the sign of the helm, in Paris, 1712). The signature probably refers to Jean Drouart (died before October 1715), a royal armorer. Drouart was one of the last practicing armorers active in France by 1712. Remarkable for the state of its preservation, the armor retains its lustrous blue and gold surfaces and nearly all the original red silk lining. The gilt rivet heads are of heraldic design—the lion of León, the castle of Castile, and the fleur-de-lis of France—representing the dynastic claims to which Luis was heir.
Signature: Signed: Drouar Ordinaire du Roi aux Heaume à Paris 1712 (Drouar, armorer-in-ordinary to the king, at the sign of the helm, in Paris, 1712)
[Eric Vaule, Bridgewater, Conn., until 1989; sold to MMA].
Lisbon. Torre de Belém. "XVII Exposição Europeia de Arte, Ciência e Cultura. Os Descobrimentos Portugueses e a Europa do Renascimento. A mão que ao Ocidente o Véu Rasgou. Armaria dos Séculos XV a XVIII," May 7–October 2, 1983, no. 69 (lent by Rainer Daehnhardt).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Philippe de Montebello Years: Curators Celebrate Three Decades of Acquisitions," October 24, 2008–February 1, 2009.
European Exhibition of Art, Science, and Culture. XVII Exposição Europeia De Arte, Ciência E Cultura: Os Descobrimentos Portugueses e a Europa Do Renascimento (XVII European Exhibition of Art, Science, and Culture: the Portuguese Discoveries and Renaissance Europe). Lisbon: Montepio Geral, 1984. pp. 75–77, no. 69, ill.
Daehnhardt, Rainer. "The Ghost King's Armour: An Extraordinary Child's Armour Discovered." Man at Arms (September/October 1988), pp. 10–15, ill.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 1991), pp. 30–32, 64, ill.
Lin, Lina. "On the Portrait of a Lady in Armor in the Collection of the National Palace Museum, Taipei." National Palace Museum Bulletin (December 2006), p. 102, figs. 8-1–8-3.
Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 2012), pp. 44–45, fig. 73.
Nickel, Helmut, William Reid, Ian Eaves, Mario Scalini, Claude Gaier, Álvaro Soler Del Campo, Jean-Pierre Reverseau, Jan Piet Pyupe, Donald J. La Rocca, Jeffrey Forgeng, Jonathan Tavares, Dirk H. Breiding, Pierre Terjanian, and Mr. Ronald S. Lauder. The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr, edited by Donald J. La Rocca. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. pp. 4, 10, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. "Stuart Pyhrr, the Consumate Curator of Arms and Armor." In The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. p. 10.
Lauder, Ronald S. "Preface." In The Armorer's Art: Essays in Honor of Stuart Pyhrr. Woonsocket, Rhode Island: Andrew Mowbray Inc. – Publishers, 2014. p. 4, ill.
La Rocca, Donald J. How to Read European Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017. pp.150- 151, fig. 167.
Former Media Lab Volunteers Justine Williams, Jason Schuler, Vanessa Gilbert, and Patrícia Faolli outline how they used augmented reality to connect individuals to one another and to objects and spaces in the Met.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.