Field Armor for Man

View enlargement
Email to a friend
Print this page

South German, Nuremberg

Field Armor for Man, About 1520

Steel, iron, brass, leather, and textile
H. 188 cm (74 in.)
George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2401a-g

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 with a pronounced vertical ridge down the center, 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