The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480-1620

Overview

"The group of armored equestrian figures forming the centerpiece of the permanent arms and armor exhibition has, for almost a century, been one of the most popular and dramatic areas of the Metropolitan Museum. Aside from the bards (complete horse armors of plate) displayed on the figures, the Museum has many important examples in its reserve collection that are rarely shown, often unpublished, and largely unknown even to specialists. In fact, armor for the horse has generally received much less scholarly attention than that designed for the
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Overview

"The group of armored equestrian figures forming the centerpiece of the permanent arms and armor exhibition has, for almost a century, been one of the most popular and dramatic areas of the Metropolitan Museum. Aside from the bards (complete horse armors of plate) displayed on the figures, the Museum has many important examples in its reserve collection that are rarely shown, often unpublished, and largely unknown even to specialists. In fact, armor for the horse has generally received much less scholarly attention than that designed for the rider, this volume being the first exclusively devoted to the subject." "The forty objects presented here comprise all the main types of horse defense, each intended to protect a different part of the animal's body: shaffron (head), crinet (neck), peytral (breast and shoulders), flanchard (ribs and abdomen), and crupper (hindquarters). Their range is broad - from a set of rudimentary peytral and crupper plates made of leather (the only examples of this kind in the United States) to an elaborately decorated steel shaffron produced for the Polish prince Nikolaus "the Black" Radziwill. A carved ivory chess piece from about 1370, one of the earliest three-dimensional representations of a European horse in a full bard; an armored saddle with its original velvet upholstery; whimsical ear guards in the shape of dolphins; and a "blind" shaffron made without eye openings to prevent a horse from shying during a joust - all cast light on the various forms and styles developed by armorers of the period. Also revealed is the evolving complexity of the decorative techniques and motifs employed, as horse armor was embossed, etched, gilded, and painted, and ornamentation evolved from simple foliate scrolls to fully realized figural scenes derived from classical mythology." "Placing these objects in context is an essay tracing the history of European horse armor from its revival in the twelfth century (after its disappearance with the fall
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300200218
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 8/31/2013
  • Pages: 80
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 10.70 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author


Dirk Breiding is J. J. Medveckis Curator of Arms and Armor at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
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Table of Contents

Introduction 6
Horse armor in medieval and Renaissance Europe : an overview 8
Armored saddles and saddle steels 19
Horse armor in the permanent display 21
Catalogue
Glossary 72
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