Description The heavily armored knight of noble birth, wielding a 12' lance and mounted on a sturdy war-horse, was the dominant force on the medieval battlefield from the 9th to the mid 14th century, when improved weapons and training made the infantry his equal. However, mounted, armored nobles continued to find an outlet for their war-like energies in jousting tournaments. This suit of armor is made of parts that are characteristic of the mid 16th century in Germany, but are not by the same maker. Typical are the black painted trim and the rope-like edging seen, for example, around the couters (elbow protectors) and along the top of the breastplate. Note the lance rest below the right shoulder. The close-helmet provides full-face protection and has a movable visor which could be lifted to demonstrate good will or when there was no danger. Many of the names for parts of the armor come from French words for the body parts that they protect, as cuisse (thigh), gorget (throat), or gauntlet (hand). The lance, Walters 51.1336, is on view in the museum with a different suit of armor, Walters 51.581.
Provenance Sale, American Art Association, New York, November 19, 1921, no. 314; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1921, by purchase; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1921
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