Armor for Field and Tournament

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Jörg T. Sorg, the Younger, after
German, Augsburg, active 1502-1542

Armor for Field and Tournament, c. 1540/60 with later etching

Steel with gilding, iron, brass, leather, and cord
H. 185.4 cm (73 in.)
George F. Harding Collection, 1982.2411a-r

The growing relationship between armor and costume in the 16th century is indicated in the delicately incised and etched center band with scalloped edge on this armor, which mimics the embroidered front closing of a contemporary male doublet (a close-fitted bodice). The particularly fine decoration of etched floral arabesques suggests the workmanship of the Augsburg armory, perhaps of Jörg T. Sorg. The elements of this armor are from the same garniture—multiple matching pieces of armor that could convert a basic suit into various field or sporting armors. Perforations on the breastplate are for bolting a shock-absorbing lance rest in place and reinforcing plate armor for sporting events. When approaching an opponent, the latch door on the helmet would be closed for protection, whereas in more casual times, the door would be opened for air circulation.

— Permanent collection label

Exhibition, Publication and Ownership Histories

Exhibition History

Victoria and Albert Museum, 1925.

Loan exhibition, Metropoliltan Museum of Art, 1931.

Art Institute of Chicago, 1971.

On exhibition, Harding Museum, Nov. 28, 1975.

Publication History

Walter Karchieski, "Arms and Armor in the Art Institute of Chicago" (Art Institute of Chicago/Little, Brown, and Company, 1995), p. 42 (ill.)

Cover of the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, 9/1931, vol. 26.

Ownership History

George F. Harding, Jr. (died 1939), Chicago; bequeathed to the George F. Harding Museum, Chicago; transferred to the Art Institute, 1982.