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  • Date of production ca. 1560
  • Place of creation Germany and Italy, Augsburg, Nuremberg, Brunswick and Brescia
  • Dimensions height: breastplate: 40 cm; backplate: 44 cm
  • ID no. MNK-V-4319
  • Museum The National Museum in Kraków
  • Branch Main Building
  • Gallery Arms and Uniforms in Poland
  • Subjects clothing
  • Technique forging
  • Material leather, iron
  • Acquired date deposit of the Tarnowski family in the Czartoryski Museum in 1941, purchased for the collection of the National Museum in Kraków in 1984
  • Object copyright The National Museum in Kraków
  • Digital images copyright public domain
  • Digitalisation The National Museum in Kraków
  • Tags ornamental techniques , military , Renaissance , 2D , public domain
Print description

The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century.
Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany.
The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments.

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The tournament armour is compiled of several suits of West-European armours created in the mid-16th century.
Its basic parts are the cuirass, collarbone guard, and pads and thigh guards made by the best armourers from southern Germany.
The breastplate with the fishbone and goose — that is a protrusion in the stomach area — has vertical stripes with an etched motif of a floral twig entwined over a panoply and musical instruments. The ornamentation style indicates that the breastplate comes from Nuremberg. The backplate is marked with the Nuremberg city mark, while the collarbone guard is marked with the Augsburg city mark. The etched decoration of a floral twig at the pads is similar in style to Anton Peffenhauser’s products, an armourer operating in Augsburg. The arm guards of the armour (apart from the gauntlets) were made in Italy, most likely in Brescia. This is manifested by the etched decoration in the form of figural motifs entwined with a floral twig, completed with much less precision than the ornaments of the other elements of the armour. In the 16th century in Italy, apart from the master armourers’ workshops, there were also workshops producing cheaper armours with decorations of a poorer quality for the less squeamish buyers. The gauntlets were produced in Brunswick. The leg guards with the etched Moorish motif used to belong to a great suit made by Franz Grosschedel of Landshut, the court armourer of Emperor Charles V. Other parts of this suit can be found in Vienna and in the Higgins’ collection in Worcester, USA.
The armour was depicted in The Prussian Homage by Jan Matejko. It is worn by Albrecht Hohenzollern, the Grand Master of the Teutonic Knights and the Duke of Prussia, who is painted while paying homage to the Polish King Sigismund I at the Kraków Market Square. A closed helmet held in Matejko’s painting by Albrecht’s squire is not a part of the suit.

Elaborated by Piotr Wilkosz (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Tournament armour

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