Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Pommel Plate

ca. 1580
French or Flemish
Steel, gold
8 3/4 x 7 in. (22.2 x 17.8 cm); Wt. 12 oz. (352 g)
Equestrian Equipment-Saddles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1929
Accession Number:
Not on view
Very few saddle steels are decorated with embossed ornament including figural representations or narrative scenes. The densely detailed style of this pommel plate is a notable example, allowing it to be identified as part of a small group of rare parade armors that were made in France or Flanders in the last quarter of the sixteenth century.

The subjects depicted are derived from Classical history and mythology. In the center of the Museum's pommel plate is a prominent figure wearing antique-style armor and mounted on a rearing horse, possibly representing the legend of the Roman hero Marcus Curtius.
Robert Curzon, Baron Zouche of Haryngworth, Parham, Pulborough, Sussex; Baroness Zouche of Haryngworth[Arnold Seligman, Rey & Co., Inc., New York, until 1929; sold to MMA].
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Armored Horse in Europe," February 15, 2005–January 15, 2006, no. 40.

Hiltl, Georg. Die Waffensammlung Sr. Königlichen Hoheit des Prinzen Carl von Preussen. Berlin: W. Moeser, 1876. no. 1022, pls. I, XLV (similar decoration on a half-armor).

Wallace Collection and James G. Mann. European Arms and Armour. Vol. I. London: Printed for the Trustees by W. Clowes and sold at Hertford House, 1962. p. 232, no. A 424, pl. 99 (a similar pommel plate).

Hiltl, Georg. Die Waffensammlung Sr. Königlichen Hoheit des Prinzen Carl von Preussen. 2nd ed. Fridingen: Graf Klenau, 1981. no. 1022, pls. I, XLV (similar decoration on a half-armor).

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. 70–71, no. 40.

Related Objects

Sword Pommel with the Arms of Pierre de Dreux (ca. 1190–1250), Duke of Brittany and Earl of Richmond

Date: ca. 1240–50 Medium: Copper, gold, enamel, iron Accession: 38.60 On view in:Gallery 370

Shield of Henry II of France (reigned 1547–59)

Date: ca. 1555 Medium: Steel, gold, silver Accession: 34.85 On view in:Gallery 374

Burgonet with Falling Buffe

Date: ca. 1550 Medium: Steel, gold Accession: 04.3.217; 22.140 On view in:Gallery 374

Armor of Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias (1707–1724)

Artist: Signature probably refers to Jean Drouart (French, Paris, died before October 1715) Date: dated 1712 Medium: Steel, gold, brass, silk, cotton, metallic yarn, paper Accession: 1989.3 On view in:Gallery 376

Armor of Henry II, King of France (reigned 1547–59)

Artist: Part of the decoration design by Jean Cousin the Elder (French, Souci (?) ca. 1490–ca. 1560 Paris (?)) Date: ca. 1555 Medium: Steel, gold, silver, leather, textile Accession: 39.121a–n On view in:Gallery 374