Skip to main content

Disc for Armor, Chest or Back Plate

Artist Culture
Orientalizing period, c.700–c.600 BC
7th–early 6th century BC
Italy, Europe
Arms & armor, metalwork
Current Location
On View, Gallery 259
diameter: 9 3/4 in. (24.8 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
The design on this armor features a fierce wolf-like beast that fills the space, bares its huge teeth and darts its tongue out like fire. Its tail terminates in a serpent's head that has large ears; its legs end in huge, three-talon claws. Bold armorial decorations, probably originally painted in bright, simple colors, would have struck fear in enemy soldiers. The disc is one of three bronze discs in the Museum's collection that were hammered with remarkable repoussé decoration and may have been the central elements of a set of body armor or shield bosses, the strong outward-projecting covers mounted in the center of shields. Each disc was affixed to a leather or wooden substructure with a series of large decorative rivets that embellished the circumference.
by 1919 - 1922
C. & E. Canessa Antiquaires, New York, NY, USA [1]

1922 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from C. & E. Canessa Antiquaires [2]

This disk and two others in the Museum's collection (52:1922 and 53:1922) share the same provenance.

[1] The disk is illustrated in a 1919 catalog of C. & E. Canessa Antiquaires ["Illustrated Catalogue of the Canessa Collection of Rare and Valuable Objects of Art of the Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Gothic, and Renaissance Periods." New York: Privately Printed for C. & E. Canessa Antiquaires, 1919, no. 20].

[2] Bill of sale, April 11, 1922 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, April 11, 1922.
Scroll back to top