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.
Nickel, Helmut. "The Art of Chivalry." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 4 (1973/1974). p. 87, ill.

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 44, no. 1 (Summer 1986). p. 38, ill.

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