Field Armor

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German, Augsburg

Field Armor, 1510/70

Steel and leather
H. 182.9 cm (72 in.)
George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2104a-j

Skillfully forged of steel, this composite armor achieves its beauty with the simple elegance of its austere lines and form rather than its surface decoration. The armor was expertly crafted for protection: the smooth, rounded shape, breastplate, and heavy roping (turned edge etched with lines) at the upper edge of the breastplate functioned to deflect sword thrusts and glancing blows. Thick roping on the gauntlet knuckles acted as added protection. The helmet, with its smooth, rounded form, was shaped to deflect downward blows away from the head. The bracket attached to the right breastplate is called the lance rest, a shock-absorbing support designed to hold the lance when it was couched under the right armpit.

— Permanent collection label