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Field Armor

Wilhelm von Worms the Elder (active 1497–1537) and others, Nuremberg and Landshut, Germany
Steel, leather, and modern restorations
Place made
Nuremberg, Bavaria, Germany, Europe
Landshut, Bavaria, Germany, Europe
Arms & armor
Current Location
On View, Gallery 125
68 x 30 1/2 x 19 in. (172.7 x 77.5 x 48.3 cm)
weight: 40 lb. 15 oz. (18.6 kg)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
Field armor made for war was the most common type in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Well-made, head-to-toe armor for the horseman combined protection, flexibility, and comfort, while limiting weight. Using primarily hand tools, the master armorer and his assistants tailored plates of iron and steel to the individual's dimensions. The design was affected not only by battlefield needs, but by art trends and fashion. The rounded shape of the breastplate and wide-toed foot defenses of this suit of armor were in accordance with fashionable male costume of the time. The curved hook at the armpit is the lance rest, a shock-absorbing bracket used with the long spear called a lance.
Metropolitan Museum of Art (from 1903 until his death in 1928), combined the helmet with a composite suit which had been historically separate. The provenance of the composite suit prior to Dean's ownership is unknown. Dean had a significant personal collection, which included many composite suits such as this, combining elements from different suits of armor, as well as restored and replacement parts.

[5] Auction catalogue annotated by a handwritten note identifies lot no. 310 as 171:1926. ["European Arms and Armor Mainly XV, XVI, & XVII Centuries, Including Artistic and Rare Specimens from Princely Provenience." American Art Association, Nov. 19-20, 1926, lot no. 310, pg. 114]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, December 10, 1926.
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