Left Side Panel of a Crupper

Probably South German or Austrian

Not on view

This left side panel of a crupper is a rare survival of horse armor in the so-called Gothic style. Its four long, horizontal plates overlapping downward are characteristic of horse armor dating from the late fifteenth to the second or third quarter of the sixteenth century. The treatment of the surfaces, however, is unusually complex, with parallel grooves following the edges of the plates in a shallow chevron pattern and bands of short, straight notches highlighting the top and bottom edge of each plate. The top plate features a prominent boss, which would sit over the point of the horse's hip, flanked by diagonal grooves at either side. Construction and decoration give this elemenet an unusual horizontal emphasis instead of a stress on the vertical line, more commonly associated with both the ridges of "Gothic" armor and the fluting of so-called Maximilian-style armor. The combination of ridges with "notched" sections, in particular, appears to associate this example with a South German or Austrian workshop and together with the scalloped lower edge, indicates a date of manufacture within the last two decades of the fifteenth century.

Ths side panel can be comared to similar plates belonging to complete bards of corresponding date in Berlin (Deutsches Historisches Museum, W 1422) and Leeds (Royal Armouries, VI.379, II.3).

Left Side Panel of a Crupper, Steel, Probably South German or Austrian

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Left side panel of a crupper