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, Ciẽncia 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.
Artist: Part of the decoration design by Jean Cousin the Elder (French, Souci (?) ca. 1490–ca. 1560 Paris (?)) Date: ca. 1555Medium: Steel, gold, silver, leather, textileAccession: 39.121a–nOn view in:Gallery 374
Artist: Helmet includes original paper label of Hallé (French, Paris, active ca. 1780–1800) Date: ca. 1788–90Medium: Linen, papier-mâché, bole, gold leaf, graphite (helmet); silk, cotton, metal coils and spangles, metallic yarn (tunic)Accession: 1988.65.1–.2On view in:Gallery 376