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Armor for the Duke of Medina Sidonia
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Armor for the Duke of Medina Sidonia

Description Conservation Provenance Credit
Description This armor is engraved all over with a design based on an M, signifying the duchy of Medina Sidonia. It was made for Don Alonso Perez de Guzman el Bueno, duke of Medina Sidonia (1550-1615). Extremely rich, he was also commander of the Spanish fleet (the Armada) under King Philip II (father of the Archduchess Isabella, Spanish governor of the Southern Netherlands). The background is darkened to contrast with the raised, partially gilded decoration. This armor was for use on horseback on the battlefield or for tournament jousting; on the right side of the breastplate are holes for bolting a lance rest. This "suit" was originally complemented by other pieces so that different combinations could be used for combat and sport. In the late 1500s, Milan, ruled by Spain (with the duke of Medina Sidonia as its captain-general), was one of the great European centers of armor making.
Date Description Narrative
Examinationexamined for condition
Treatmentcleaned; coated; other
12/07/1964Examinationtechnical study
1/04/1965Treatmentx-ray fluorescence; other
12/09/2003Examinationexamined for condition
11/11/2004Technical Reportx-ray fluorescence
Provenance Dukes of Mendoza and Medina Sidonia (?); Don Joaquin Álvarez de Toledo, 20th Duke of Medina Sidonia (1894-1955) [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Duke of Medina Sidonia Sale, 1924; Marquis de Mondejar [date and mode of acquisition unknown]; Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1925 [mode of acquisition unknown]; Walters Art Museum, 1931, by bequest.
Credit Acquired by Henry Walters, 1925

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ca. 1590
steel with traces of fire-gilding and silver inlay; modern leather and velvet
(Arms & Armor)
Accession Number
67 in. (170.2 cm)


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