Reinforcing Pieces for the Tourney

Armorer Kolman Helmschmid German

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 374

In the late fifteenth century, specialized exchange and reinforcing pieces were devised that allowed a single field armor to be adapted for use in various forms of the tournament. The ensemble of pieces was known as a garniture. The armorers Lorenz Helmschmid (about 1445–1516) and his son Kolman, working for Emperor Maximilian I (1459–1519), were among the principal inventors of the garniture. Exhibited here are some of the earliest pieces stamped with the mark of Kolman, the most innovative armorer of his generation.
These reinforces represent an early form of garniture for the tourney, a combat fought by groups of horseman armed with blunted lances and swords. The decoration imitates the elaborately brocaded textile that was fashionable in court costume.

Reinforcing Pieces for the Tourney, Kolman Helmschmid (German, Augsburg 1471–1532), Steel, copper alloy, gold, German, Augsburg

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