Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Tournament Shield (Targe)

ca. 1500
Wood, burlap, leather, gesso, polychromy
H. 26 3/8 in. (67 cm); W. 12 3/8 in. (31.5 cm); D. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); outer circumference 19 5/16 in. (49 cm); H. of lance rest 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bashford Dean Bequest, 1969
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307
Shields of this shape were inspired by Hungarian light-cavalry shields and were adopted in Germany and Austria for the Hussarisch Turnier (tournament in Hungarian-style costume). The German motto around the owl reads in translation, "Although I am the hated bird, I rather enjoy that." Below this are the quartered arms of the Tänzl and Rindscheit families, which were united by marriage in 1499.
Inscription: Painted within a Banderole: WIE•WOL•ICH•BIN•DER•VOGEL•HAS•NOCH•DEN•ERFRET•MICH•DAS (Though I am hated by all birds, I nevertheless rather enjoy that).

Marking: Arms: Shield: quarterly, 1 and 4, or and sable per pale, chess knights countercharged (Tänzl), 2 and 3 or, a swallow proper (von Rindscheit).
Nickel, Helmut. "The Art of Chivalry." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1973/1974), p. 87, ill.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, p. 38, ill.

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