Roundel with Playing at Quintain


On view at The Met Cloisters in Gallery 10

Quintain originally was a tilting exercise in which a dummy or other target was employed by knights in training for the joust. Balance quintain was a popular variation. As seen here, a seated man held up one leg, placing his foot against the foot of a standing man; one person then tried to upend the other. By the fifteenth century, balance quintain was often played as a courting game with men and women.

Roundel with Playing at Quintain, Colorless glass, vitreous paint and silver stain, French

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