Shield for the Field or Tournament (Targe)

Date: ca. 1450

Culture: German

Medium: Wood, leather, linen, gesso, pigments, silver

Dimensions: H. 22 in. (55.88 cm); W. 16 in. (40.64 cm)

Classification: Shields

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Florence Blumenthal, 1925

Accession Number: 25.26.1


This shield is painted with a coat of arms belonging either to the Gottsmann family or to the related Türriegel family, both of Franconia. The female figure at the side holds a banderole inscribed in part with a motto in German: HAB MYCH ALS ICH BIN... (Take me as I am...). The decoration, with its brilliant colors on a silver-foil ground, is remarkably well preserved because it was hidden for centuries beneath layers of later paint. On the leather-lined back of the shield are traces of a painted figure of Saint Christopher, whose image was thought to protect against sudden death.