This armor reproduces in steel the extravagant puffed and slashed costume of the German Landsknechte (mercenary infantry troops). The matching pieces are preserved in the Musée de l'Armée, Paris. Coming from the Radziwill armory in Nesvizh in present-day Belarus, this armor may have been made for Jerzy Herkules Radziwill (1480–1541), a powerful Polish nobleman.
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Back view overall
Back view, detail
Hoguine (rump defense), right three-quarter view
Proper left shoulder, detail
Detail of arm defense
Detail of decoration at top center of backplate
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Dimensions:H. 27 in. (68.6 cm); W. 18 in. (45.7 cm); Wt. 24 lb. 3.24 oz. (10.978 kg)
Classification:Armor for Man
Credit Line:Backplate and rump: Gift of Bashford Dean, 1924; vambraces: Mrs. Stephen V. Harkness Fund, 1926; top lames of vambraces: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, 1929
Accession Number:24.179; 26.188.1, .2; 29.158.363a, b
Back plate and hoguine: Princes Radziwill, Nesvizh Castle, Grand-Duchy of Lithuania (modern-day Belarus) (before 1924); [Pollak and Winterwitz, Vienna, until about 1924; acquired by Juritzki-Warberg]; [Alfred Juritzki-Warberg, Vienna, until 1924; sold for $2135 to Dean]; Bashford Dean, New York (until 1924; his gift to MMA); arm defenses: Princes Radziwill, Nesvizh Castle, Grand-Duchy of Lithuania (modern day Belarus) (before 1926); Radziwill family (until 1926; Fine Armour sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, June 29, 1926, no. 60, to MMA); top lames of arm defenses: Princes Radziwill, Nesvizh Castle, Grand-Duchy of Lithuania
(modern-day Belarus) (before 1928); Bashford Dean, New York (until d. 1928; sold to MMA through his estate, 1929).
Vienna. Kunsthistorisches Museum. "Iron Men: Mode in Stahl / Iron Men: Fashion in Steel," March 29–June 26, 2022, no. 106.
Laking, Guy Francis, Sir, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. III. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920. pp. 254–65, ill.
Christie, Manson & Woods. "Fine Armour Removed from the Armoury of A Russian Prince." In Fine Armour. London: Christie, Manson & Woods, June 29, 1926. p. 8, no. 60, ill. (puffed sleeves only).
Dean, Bashford. "Puffed and Slashed Armor of 1525." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (November 1926), pp. 260–64, ill.
B. S. "Notes from London." The American Magazine of Art (October 1926), pp. 554–55, ill.
Dean, Bashford. "Recent Accessions in the Armor Department." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (January 1928), p. 24.
Closs, G. Adolf Cf. "Der Harnisch der Übergangszeit von der Gotik zur Renaissance (1495–1520)." Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen– und Kostümkunde, Zeitschrift für Historische Waffen- und Kostümkunde, 12, n.s.v. 3 pp. 145–51 (armors with puffed and slashed ornamentation discussed).
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Mutual Influence of Costume and Armor: A Study of Specimens in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Metropolitan Museum Studies (June 1931), pp. 194–208, fig. 11.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Stephen V. Grancsay, and Carl Otto von Kienbusch. The Bashford Dean Collection of Arms and Armor in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Portland, ME: Southworth Press for the Armor and Arms Club of New York City, 1933. pp. 77–80, no. 8, pls. XVII–XVIII.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Historical Armor: A Picture Book. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1944. p. 2, pl. 14.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Historical Armor: A Picture Book. 2nd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1946. p. 2, pl. 14.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "The Interrelationships of Costume and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (February 1950), pp. 183, 186, ill.
Thomas, Bruno. "Portions of the Rogendorf Armour in the Wallace Collection." The Burlington Magazine (June 1950), pp. 173–74.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Historical Armor: A Picture Book. 3rd ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1951. p. 2, pl. 14.
Thomas, Bruno. "Der Wiener Prunkharnisch des Wilhelm von Rogendorf." Das Antiquariat 8 pp. 84–86.
Grancsay, Stephen V. Historical Armor: A Picture Book. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1957. p. 2, pl. 14.
Thomas, Bruno. Gesammelte Schriften zur historischen Waffenkunde: [überarb. Nachdr. von 88 in Fachzeitschriften u. Einzelpublikationen ersch. Abhandlungen des Autors]. Vol. 2. Graz: Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, 1977. pp. 1157–62, 1163–70.
Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 1991), pp. 18, 64, 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. 59 (24.179, 26.188.1, .2).
Krause, Stefan. "Der Augusburger Druckgraphiker Daniel Hopfer (1471–1536) als Waffendekorateur." Jahrbuch des Kunsthistorischen Museums Wien (2011–12), p. 67, n. 89.
Capwell, Tobias E. "Cloth of Steel: Elements of a Landsknecht Armour in the Wallace Collection." In Arms and Armour: History, Conservation and Analysis. London: Archetype Publications, 2021. p. 37, fig. 10.
Krause, Stefan. Iron Men: Mode in Stahl (Fashion in Steel). Köln: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, 2022. pp. 187, back matter, no. 106, ill.
Armor made from steel plates that covered almost the entire body was developed around the late fourteenth century in Northern Italy, and spread north of the Alps soon after. Most early examples were plain, but by the middle of the fifteenth century armorers began to emboss surfaces with ridges and grooves and add gilt copper-alloy applications, transferring current tastes in civilian fashion to create sumptuous garments of steel.
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