Tournament Shield (Targe), Wood, burlap, leather, gesso, polychromy, German

Tournament Shield (Targe)

Date:
ca. 1500
Culture:
German
Medium:
Wood, burlap, leather, gesso, polychromy
Dimensions:
H. 26 3/8 in. (67 cm); W. 12 3/8 in. (31.5 cm); D. 5 1/2 in. (14 cm); outer circumference 19 5/16 in. (49 cm); H. of lance rest 2 3/8 in. (6 cm)
Classification:
Shields
Credit Line:
Purchase, Bashford Dean Bequest, 1969
Accession Number:
69.196
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307
Shields of this shape were inspired by Hungarian light-cavalry shields and were adopted in Germany and Austria for the Hussarisch Turnier (tournament in Hungarian-style costume). The German motto around the owl reads in translation, "Although I am the hated bird, I rather enjoy that." Below this are the quartered arms of the Tänzl and Rindscheit families, which were united by marriage in 1499.
Inscription: Painted within a Banderole: WIE•WOL•ICH•BIN•DER•VOGEL•HAS•NOCH•DEN•ERFRET•MICH•DAS (Though I am hated by all birds, I nevertheless rather enjoy that).

Marking: Arms: Shield: quarterly, 1 and 4, or and sable per pale, chess knights countercharged (Tänzl), 2 and 3 or, a swallow proper (von Rindscheit).
Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. [Arms and Armor (album of photographs)]. Munich: Bayerisches Nationalmuseum, [n.d.]. photograph no. 1609.

Siebmacher, Johann, and Otto Titan von Hefner. "Bayern." Grosses und Allgemeines Wappenbuch: in Verbindung mit Mehreren, Neu Herausgegeben und mit Historischen, Genealogischen und Heraldischen Notizen, (1856), p. 60, pl. 63 (arms of Tänzel).

Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. Führer durch das Bayerische National-Museum in München. 9th ed. ed. Munich: Verlag des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, 1909. p. 92.

Bayerisches Nationalmuseum. Führer durch das Bayerische National-Museum in München. 10th ed. ed. Munich: Verlag des Bayerischen Nationalmuseums, 1911. p. 100 (possibly this shield discussed).

Enzenberg, Sighard. Schloss Tratzberg: Ein Beitrag Zur Kulturgeschichte Tirols. Schlern-Schriften, Vol. 183. Innsbruck: Wagner, 1958. pp. 3–110 (history of Tratzberg castle and its owners, armory discussed).

Nickel, Helmut. "Der Mittelalterliche Reiterschild des Abendlandes." PhD diss., 1958. p. 68 (this type of shield discussed).

Nickel, Helmut. "Reports of the Departments: Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 29, no. 2 p. 65, ill.

Nickel, Helmut. "The Tournament." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (1973–74), p. 87, ill.

Luther, Martin, Christiane Andersson, and Charles Talbot. From a Mighty Fortress: Prints, Drawings, and Books in the Age of Luther, 1483–1546. Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts, 1983. no. 162 (a woordcut by the School of Dürer featuring an owl, owl iconography discussed).

Schrader, J. L. "A Medieval Bestiary." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 1986), p. 38, ill.