Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Armor for Field and Tilt

Date:
ca. 1550–75
Culture:
Italian
Medium:
Steel
Dimensions:
Wt. 61 lb. 10 oz. (27.95 kg)
Classification:
Armor for Man
Credit Line:
Gift of George D. Pratt, 1927
Accession Number:
27.159.1a–p, .11, .14a–e, .16–.17
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
This armor garniture comes from the armory of the Dos Aguas family in Valencia, Spain. The garniture is unusually large, containing pieces for use in battle and for the tilt in both the Italian and German fashions. The tilt was a tournament fought on horseback between two opponents armed with lances and separated by a lengthwise barrier.

The armor as mounted is equipped with a helmet and vambraces (arm defenses) for the tournament. The buffe (chin defense), second breastplate (acc. no. 27.159.2), and manifer (reinforced left gauntlet) (27.159.6) would have been added to make the armor ready for exchange pieces for different forms of the tournament. For the German tilt, the trellised targe (shield) (27.159.7), small elbow defense (27.159.5), and small stomach defense (27.159.3) were added. For the Italian tilt, these elements were replaced by the form-fitting reinforce covering the left half of the torso and left shoulder (mezzo sovrapetto) (27.159.2) and the larger elbow defense (soprabracciale) (27.159.4).

The garniture also includes two complete sets of saddle steels (27.159.13, .14) (only one is exhibited) and two vamplates (conical hand defenses affixed to the lance) (27.159.8, .9). The decoration consisting of etched bands containing trophies of arms and musical instruments was a popular design found in many variations in Italy throughout the second half of the sixteenth century.
Ex. coll.: Guillermo Casanova, Marqués de Dos Aguas, Valencia, Spain.
Indianapolis. Indianapolis Museum of Art. "Treasures from the Metropolitan," October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971, no. 33 (only 27.159.14a-e included in exhibition).

Dean, Bashford. "Recent Accessions in the Armor Department." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 23, no. 1 pp. 16–18, fig. 1.

Gamber, Ortwin. "Der Italienische Harnische im 16 Jahrhundert." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien (1958), p. 104, figs. 92–93.

La Rocca, Donald J. How to Read European Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2017.

Related Objects

Armor for Field and Tilt

Artist: Date: ca. 1550–75
Accession Number: 27.159.1a–p
Date: ca. 1550–75 Medium: Steel Accession: 27.159.1a–p On view in:Gallery 371

Reinforcing Breastplate, Shoulder Defense, and Buffe (Chin Defense)

Artist: Date: ca. 1550 to 1575
Accession Number: 27.159.2a–c
Date: ca. 1550 to 1575 Medium: Steel Accession: 27.159.2a–c On view in:Gallery 371

Reinforcing Abdominal Defense

Artist: Date: ca. 1550 to 1575
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Large Elbow Reinforce (Pasguard or Soprabracciale)

Artist: Date: ca. 1550 to 1575
Accession Number: 27.159.4
Date: ca. 1550 to 1575 Medium: Steel Accession: 27.159.4 On view in:Gallery 371

Small Elbow Reinforce

Artist: Date: ca. 1550 to 1575
Accession Number: 27.159.5
Date: ca. 1550 to 1575 Medium: Steel Accession: 27.159.5 On view in:Gallery 371