Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Half-Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense)

Date:
ca. 1570–80
Geography:
probably Milan
Culture:
Italian, probably Milan
Medium:
Steel, gold, brass, leather, linen (woven textile and fiber)
Dimensions:
H. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm); W. 10 3/4 in. (27.3 cm); D. 7 in. (17.8 cm); Wt. 2 lb. 11 oz. (1208 g)
Classification:
Equestrian Equipment-Shaffrons
Credit Line:
Gift of William H. Riggs, 1913
Accession Number:
14.25.1666
Not on view
This shaffron matches an Italian armor for man in the Metropolitan Museum (acc. no. 14.25.717) that is today mounted on horseback as part of the equestrian group in the main hall of the Arms and Armor Galleries. The slender bands etched with trophies of arms, vases, birds, and grotesque creatures on a dotted and blackened ground are typical decoration for Italian armor of the period. The shaffron is particularly noteworthy for preserving its original lining of coarse-woven linen filled with vegetable fiber. While nearly all armor was once lined in this way, very few original linings have survived. (The spike is modern; the gilding has been restored).
William H. Riggs, Paris (until 1913; his gift to MMA).
Hagerstown, Md. Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," February 27–March 31, 1955, no. 40.

Newark. Newark Museum Association. "Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 15–September 15, 1955, no. 40.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Armored Horse in Europe," February 15, 2005–January 15, 2006, no. 19.

Grancsay, Stephen V., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. Loan Exhibition of Medieval and Renaissance Arms and Armor from the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Hagerstown, Md: Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, February 27–March 31, 1955. pp. 13–14, no. 40.

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. pp. 50–51, no. 19, ill.

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