Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense) with arms of the Freyberg family

ca. 1540
probably Landshut
German, probably Landshut
Steel, pewter, leather, textile, gold
H. 24 7/8 in. (63.2 cm); W. 12 1/4 in. (31.1 cm); D. 8 1/4 in. (21 cm); Wt. 4 lb. 13 oz. (2188 g)
Equestrian Equipment-Shaffrons
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
Not on view
This shaffron is fitted with an escutcheon plate bearing the arms of the barons of Freyberg. It comes from the armory at Hohenaschau Castle in Bavaria, the seat of that noble family, and probably belonged to Pancraz von Freyberg (1508–1565), a courtier in the service of the dukes of Bavaria in nearby Munich. Although unmarked, the shaffron is comparable in form to documented examples made in Landshut, a famous Bavarian armor-making center.
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Allentown. Allentown Art Museum. "Arms and Armor, loan exhibtion," March 15–June 14, 1964, no. 34.

Seattle. Seattle Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," March 11, 1982–June 6, 1982, no. 30.

Denver. Denver Art Museum. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," July 18–October 10, 1982, no. 30.

San Antonio. San Antonio Museum of Art. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," November 13, 1982–February 5, 1983, no. 30.

Minneapolis. Minneapolis Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," May 24–July 31, 1983, no. 30.

San Francisco. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," November 5, 1983–January 28, 1984, no. 30.

Detroit. Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor," April 4–June 17, 1984, no. 30.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Armored Horse in Europe," February 15, 2005–January 15, 2006, no. 14.

Reitzenstein, Alexander von. "Hohenaschauer Waffen." Waffen- und Kostumkunde 4, pt. 1 (1962). pp. 41, 50, fig. 17.

Allentown Art Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and John Woodman Higgins Armory. Arms and Armor: A Loan Exhibition from the Collection of Stephen V. Grancsay: with Important Contributions by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and the John Woodman Higgins Armory, Worcester, Massachusetts: March 15-June 14, 1964. Allentown, Pa: Allentown Art Museum, 1964. p. 31, no. 34.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Helmut Nickel, Stuart W. Pyhrr, Leonid Tarassuk, American Federation of Arts, and Joseph P. Ascherl. The Art of Chivalry: European Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: An Exhibition. New York: The Federation, 1982. p. 74, no. 30, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Dirk H. Breiding. The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480–1620. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. p. 45, no. 14, ill.

Related Objects


Artist: Matthes Deutsch (German, Landshut, documented 1485–1505) Date: ca. 1490 Medium: Steel, textile Accession: 29.150.8a On view in:Gallery 373

Portions of a Costume Armor

Artist: Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532) Date: ca. 1525 Medium: Steel, gold Accession: 24.179; 26.188.1, .2; 29.158.363a, b On view in:Gallery 374

Armor of Emperor Ferdinand I (1503–1564)

Artist: Kunz Lochner (German, Nuremberg, 1510–1567) Date: dated 1549 Medium: Steel, brass, leather Accession: 33.164a–x On view in:Gallery 371

Armor for Man and Horse Presumably Made for Baron Pankraz von Freyberg (1508–1565)

Artist: Wolfgang Grosschedel (German, Landshut, active ca. 1517–62) Date: man's armor, ca. 1535–40; horse armor, dated 1554; saddle steels, later restorations Medium: Steel; leather, copper alloy, textile Accession: 23.261 On view in:On view


Date: ca. 1535 Medium: Steel Accession: 38.128.1 On view in:Gallery 371