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Archer's Shield
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Archer's Shield

Description Exhibitions Provenance Credit
Description These large shields were used as movable walls to protect longbow archers as well as crossbowmen during sieges and pitched battles. Many were large enough to cover two men. The lower portion rested on the ground while the top was supported by a prop or the end of the crossbow. This type of shield was sometimes called a "pavise" because it originated in Pavia in northern Italy. The "pavise" bears traces of a black cross on the front: the arms of the Teutonic Knights. Indeed, it is said to come from Marienberg Castle in northern Poland, seat of this famous religious order until 1466.
  • The Book of Kings: Art, War, and the Morgan Library's Medieval Picture Bible. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore; Academy Art Museum, Easton; Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton; The Mitchell Gallery, Annapolis; Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 2002.
Provenance Ex-coll. Oscar Bondy, Vienna; Leopold Blumka Gallery, New York; Walters Art Museum, December 1969, by purchase.
Credit Museum purchase, 1969

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mid 15th century (Late Medieval)
wood, gesso, paint, leather, wrought iron, and linen
(Arms & Armor)
Accession Number
50 x 21 3/8 x 6 1/8 in. (127 x 54.3 x 15.5 cm)
  • Austria (Place of Origin)
  • Czech Republic (Bohemia) (Place of Origin)


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