Left Half of a Breastplate


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373

This is part of a large find of medieval armor discovered in 1840 in the ruins of the fortress of Chalcis, on the Greek island of Euboea (then a Venetian colony called Negroponte). The fortress had been captured and destroyed by the Turks in 1470. Now divided largely between the Ethnological Museum, Athens, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Chalcis hoard contains many rare and unusual elements of fourteenth- and fifteenth-century armor. Of particular importance are the variety of headpieces and the many fragments of brigandines (armor for the torso constructed of small plates riveted to layers of fabric), some of which retain portions of their original velvet covering. The Chalcis armor provides a unique picture of the armament used in the Aegean, one of the easternmost military outposts of the Venetian empire.

Left Half of a Breastplate, Steel, copper alloy, textile (linen), Italian

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Outer side