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Updated last: August, 22, 2004


Half-armor made for Nikolaus IV. Radziwill in 1555 by Kunz Lochner of Nuremberg. This armor is etched, gilded and enameled. It is now part of the collection of : Leibrüstkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna\Austria.

The crowned helmet of Gustav Vasa, with a crown of chased steel. this helmet was bought in Augsburg in 1541 by merchant Claus Heijder. At first glance, I would have thought this to be the work of one of the Großschedel's, yet it is presumed to have been made in Nürnberg by Master Plattner Kunz Lochner.
This unusual helmet is part of the collection at:
Livrustkammaren (Royal Armouries) Stockhom/Sweden

Burgonet "ALLA ROMANA ANTICA" made in 1541 in Milan by Filippo Negroli. This parade helmet of steel, gold and brass -once in the collection of Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol-is now part of the collection of: Leibruestkammer, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna/Austria.

For combat utterly useless........yet, an incredible masterpiece of creative metalwork intended for ostentatious purposes only. Repusee...or embossing at its finest.
This masterpiece -definitely italian,but...- its maker unknown, was made around the 1560's and may be viewed at the:
Livrustkammaren in Stockholm/Sweden


Made around 1585 at the Royal Armouries in Greenwich for George Clifford -Earl of Cumberland- this armor was part of a garniture for field and tournament which included four extra vamplates, a second helmet, as well as a matching chanfron and saddle plates. The design is featured in the Jacobe Album (Jacob Halder) at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London and the armor is now part of the Arms & Armor Collection at the: Metrpolitan Museum in New York.




Once the property of the Lord Astor and part of the collection at Hever Castle, (the childhood home of Anne Boleyn) this fantastically embossed, three-quarter armor was made by Giovanny Paolo Negroli of Milan/Italy for King Henri II of France , and is now part of the:
(NEW) Royal Armouries in Leeds, England



Made in 1550 by Michael Witz the Younger, this field armor is embossed in high-relief, blackened and burnished. It is part of the collection in the: Zeughaus in Graz/Austria.



Armor of the court giant Giovanni Bona, made in the second half of the 16th century. Though I don't know who crafted this masterpiece, by appearance alone.. it is in the style and fashion of works which closely resembles that of Wolfgang Grosschedel. I also don't know the height, but this guy was towering at least some two (2') feet above me (I'm 6'4" tall) when I stood next to it. This harnish is part of a must see collection of: SCHLOSS AMBRAS (Ambras Palace) in Innsbruck/Austria.



Of any armor in existence today, (from a plattner's perspective) this has to be the most significant one at all. To my knowledge, its the only completely enclosed harnish in existence today. Of special interest is the area of the seat (bottom) and the upper-leg area because of its articulation. It was designed as a foot-tournament armor in 1520 at the Royal workshop in Greewich for Henry VIII and has been extensively studied by U.S. space scientists before designing our early astronauts space-suits. Parts of the decoration are based on designs by Hans Holbein the Younger, and this armor is now part of the collection of the: (NEW) Royal Armouries in Leeds/England.


Unsurpassed for simple beauty, sleekness, line and craftsmanship, this armor was made in 1588 for the "WelschesGestech" (tournament) for Kurfürst Christian I -Elector of Saxony-by Anton Pfeffenhäuser in Augsburg. This harnish can be seen at the: Rüstkammer, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen -in the Zwinger- in Dresden/ Germany. (And while you are there, say "HELLO" to militaria curator Dr. Heinz-Werner Lewerken, with whom I have spend a glorious time at his home, studying armor and more so..drinking German beer. (As an after thought: nowhere, of all the armor collections I have ever visited in this world, have I had the opportunity to study soooooooooooooo.. many luxurious items. Dresden is the one to visit, if you wish to see opulent parade armor at its best. Also, Dresden is being re-built to its original splendor , putting even Venice to shame, don't miss this one.





Morion and shield in gold and enamel.This set was made by Paris goldsmith Pierre Redon for French king Charles IX . These magnificently crafted items are part of: Musée l'Armee in Paris/ France.






The famous 'KD' armor (this part of a large garniture) was made for CharlesV (later Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire) in Augsburg in 1525 and is attributed to Kolman Helmschmied. Featured on the upper breast -and backplate is an etching of the: Order of the Golden Fleece. Part of an incredible rich collection, this armor is part of the Patrimonio Nacional, and can be seen at the: Armeria Real de Madrid/Spain.






Tournament armor of Charles V, made around 1520 in Augsburg and is attributed to Kolman Helmschmied. The crupper shows large scenes of combat (David and Goliath, Samson and the Philistines) etched on the left and right sides. The skirt features the double-headed eagel of the "Habsburgs". This set is part of a large collection in the: Armeria Real in Madrid/Spain.








Who precisely made this exquisite masterpiece between 1562-1564 is unknown, but the decoration and embossed work was carried out by Antwerp goldsmith Eliseus Libaerts after designs by Etienne Delaune. The background of this armor is richly engraved with a scrolled leaf design upon which are embossed floral scrolls, butterflies, birds, snakes,dolphines and other creatures, ribbons of fruit, weapons, musician putti, sphinxes, griffins and masks. It also features in round and oval surrounds (on the man's armor) six scenes from the Trojan War and the legend of the Argonauts. The horse armor features fourteen scenes from the legend of Hercules. Except for the bright pictorial medallions, the man's (and horse) armor is entirely gilt, and was made for the Swedish King Eric XIV. This set was aquired at the beginning of the 17th century from a dealer by the Elector Christian II of Saxony for 8,800 guilders and today is still part of the arms& armor collection of: Historisches Museum in Dresden/Germany, which is housed in the Zwinger.






Blued with a gold etching, this harnish is somewhat unusual because of its style. Made by Matthäus Frauenpreiss the Elder, for Maximillian II possibly around the middle of the 16th century, the gauntlets are more in line with a style pointing to the gothic period. The helmet with a bellowed visor, the high break of the left shoulder, and the tonlet style skirt also are more aligned with a style pointing to the first quarter of the 16th century, yet the decoration of this armor is rather timely for the middle of the century. This armor is part of a fantastic collection at the: Hofjagd-und Rüstkammer,Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna/Austria.






Roundshield, made around 1563 in Milan..possibly by either Leone Leoni or Pompeo Leoni. This shield is embossed in iron and damascened in gold. It is part of a small -but definitely worth seing- (I have already been there three times) wonderful armor collection which also includes a full set of horse armor, at: Deutsches Historisches Museum (Unter den Linden) in Berlin/Germany.






This field armor -etched and gilded- is part of a garniture, made in Milan between 1570/80 . The armor (from the collection of the Marquesses de Dos Aguas in Spain) is fitted with a shock-absorbing, braketlike lance rest on the breastplate, and the right pauldron is cut out under the armpit to acommodate the shaft of a lance. Altogether, some 24 pieces are known to exist, comprising the elements neede to form a three-quarter field armor, a half armor for the foot tournament and armor for the horse. Part of the former well known Harding collection, this armor is now exhibited at the: Art Institute in Chicago/Illinois.






A rare item indeed, this German armor was made during the latter part of the 16th century for Ruppert, a dwarf at the court of duke Johann Casimir (1564-1633) and has been listed in the inventory of Veste Coburg since 1601/04. Though I'm not aware of the exact hights- I remember it barely four (4) feet tall- while standing next to it. This armor is by no means a costume armor, but a fully functional harnish with a weight of 16.5 kilograms....and rather massive for its overall height. A varied and wonderful Collection I consider a 'must see' for any armor buff, don't miss it at: Veste Coburg/Germany.







Indeed a masterpiece in the truest sense of the word. This type of helmet -a triple-crested burgonet- could only be produced by the best of master plattners. Measurements by gauging the metal has shown that thickness has been evenly maintained throughout, in spite of stretching the material to the ultimate. This helmet was made in Augsburg during the second half of the 16th century and was -among others- popular with the personal body guards of Charles V. The helmet featured here can be seen at: Cleveland Museum of Art in Cleveland/Ohio.







Though I think this harnish looks awfully gaudy, as a professional I have nothing but the highest regard for the incredible workmanship involved in this Royal armor..made for Henry II of France in 1555. The maker is not known, but the design is attributed to Ettienne Delaune whose design also graces the horse armor featured at the Zwinger in Dresden. This particular armor is part of one of the greatest collections in the world and can be seen at the: Metropolitan Museum in New York, N.Y.





Made in northern Germany around 1530, this has to be one of the most masculine and elegantly styled half armors for the tournament in existence . This harnish is part of a collection at the: Museo delle Armi "Luigi Marzoli" in Brescia/Italy.






A tournament armor for the 'GESTECH', possibly made for Maximilian I by Lorence Helmschmied of Augsburg. This type of armor is portrayed in "THE TRIUMPH OF THE EMPEROR MAXIMILIAN" (Woodcuts, better known and described in my 'A short history' as : Der Weisskunig by Max Traitsauerstein and Hannsen Burgmair) The distinctive dimensions of the great helmet, the breastplate and the protection for the arms and legs make this armor appear to be a direct relative to tournament armor in use during the 15th century in France, portraying a Burgundian influence which was later assimilated by the court of Maximillian I. This harnish and 3 more of the same type can be seen at: Musée de l' Armée in Paris/France. Of course, for the largest and best collection of tournament armor anywhere, don't miss the fabulous collection of: Germanisches National-museum in Nürnberg/Germany.






Of course, I can hardly let this one pass. A parade helmet mad in a Milan workshop by Lucio Piccinino -my altime favorite artist in metal- this helmet was made between 1550-1570, possibly in 1567 according to my calculations. Piccinino as well as the Negroli workshops held the absolute monopoly on embossed armor. Many of the works are artsy but totally useless as armor and served only for ostentatious purposes. This helmet is part of the collection of: Museum für Deutsche Geschichte in Berlin/Germany





A rare masterpiece of puffed and slashed armor made about 1520 in Augsburg, possibly by Conrad Seusenhofer, with etchings by Daniel Hoepfer. This type of armor was to emulate the fashion of the day, yet was rather impractical as a defensive armor. The incredible workmanship makes this a harnish primarily for ostentatious purposes. This masterpiece is part of the: Wallace Collection in London/England.

A cousin to this harnish is the: Rogendorf armor in Vienna/Austria.




A parade armor made around 1650-60 for the Prince Elector Johann George II of Saxony/Germany, this armor is made of copper , embossed and guilt, as well as set with paste jewels. The helmet is lined with crimson silk, embroidered with gold thread; breast and back lined with doeskin, edged with red velvet piccadils.
Originally this masterpiece being part of the Dresden Collection, after WWII it became part of the C. Otto von Kienbusch Collection in the Philadelphia Museum of Art in Pennsylvania, USA and was only recently returned to its rightful place to the Rüstkammer in Dresden/ Germany.






Greenwich armor for man and horse about 1550. Such is the description for this piece of art, part of the Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in Scotland. This is the only surviving armor for man and horse made in Greenwich, considered a light horse armour for the field. The helmet is a burgonet, the face protected by a buffe. The breastplate is made up of several plates and is of the type known as anime. The hook and eye fastenings are typical of the Greenwich style. Armor for man and horse is part of the: Kelvingrove Collection in Glasgow/Scotland





Made between 1512-14 for the later to be Emperor Charles V -by Konrad Seusenhofer of Innsbruck , this parade armor was made with bases ('skirts' of cloth or metal) or tonlet skirt. A similar style Harnisch was also made as a present for king Henry VIII which can be seen at the: (New) Royal Armouries in Leeds/England The here featured Harnisch is part of a collection held by the:Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna/Austria






A Maximilian Harnisch -this armor dates to around 1510 and made in southern Germany, possibly Innsbruck- is part of the wonderful Kelvingrove Collection which also includes the fantastic Greenwich armour for man and hourse. It can be viewed at: Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow/Scotland. Though I have no photos, from my many european museum visits I have to assume the largest collection of Maximillian armors may be found at: Bayrisches National Museum in Munich/Germany an absolute must see for anyone remotely interested in this beautiful style of armor.





These two armors are part of a very large collection dating back to the early part of the 16th century in Emden/Germany (across the bay from the Netherlands.) Although early 16th century armor worn by the 'BÜRGERWEHR', this collection is primarily filled with works produced in Niedersachsen (Lower Saxony). I have studied and video taped this collection numerous times in the past few years and am always amazed at the high quality, extensively decorated armor, worn by the common soldier.This collection may be compared to that of the Zeughaus in Graz/Austria and can be seen at: Emder Rüstkammer in Emden/Germany.





This breastplate for the Mechanisches Rennen (Mechanical Tournament) was designed by Emperor Maximillian I. A segmented metal plate originally covered the visible mechanism, which..when hit by a lance, would burst apart and fall away...preventing the rider from getting seriously hurt. A rather ingeniously designed device which would have been approved by OSHA today. (For my overseas viewers that would be the 'Occupational Safety and Health Administration', a necessary but rather nightmarish, nasty part of every American company's existence) The lancehead shown on the right is another design by Maximillian I and shows a blunter version of real war lances. The tournament breastplate is part of the: WALLACE COLLECTION at Hertford House in London/England and the lancehead is part of the: Royal Armouries in Leeds/England.





Made for Sweden's King Gustavus Adolphus as a tilting armor, this assembly was possibly made in Norrköpin and gilded by Charles Dartené in the Hague in 1620. This armor was deposited in the Armoury in 1624 and carried in 1634 during Gustavus Adolphus' funeral procession, which is probably the time that mountings for the reinforcing pieces and lance-rest were removed. A magnificent piece of armor no doubt, it is part of the collection of: Royal Armoury in Stockholm/Sweden.





Part of an armor for field and tilt (c. 1590) which was most likely made by Jacob Halder, a German Plattner who was active at the Greenwich Armouries until 1607 and along the way became known as the QUEEN'S ARMOURER. (See: a short history of Plattnerkunst) The breastplate of this incredible armor is of "peascot form" a style with a high, narrow waist that mirrored the civilian doublet of the time.This item is part of the former Harding Collection and can now be viewed at the: Art Institute of Chicago/Illinois.






This Half Armor is one of twelve, originally made by Anton Pfeffenhäuser as a gift from Sophie -princess of Brandenburg- to her husband Christian I. Elector of Saxony in 1591.Several of the others may be seen at Dresden, Leeds and Philadelphia. This armor is part of the collection at: State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg/Russia





This exquisite helmet (etchwork by Master Ambrosius Gemlich) was crafted as part of a Great Garniture which also includes a shaffron, etched with the same designs. Made in Landshut in 1536 by Wolfgang Grosschädel for the duke of Würtemberg, this masterpiece is part of a collection housed at: Burg (castle) Hornberg ,once home to Germany's most famous knight. Goetz von Berlichingen.





In the shape of a virtous dolphin with a curled up tail, this helmet masterpiece was made for Charles V around 1530 by Kolman Helmschmid in Augsburg. Blued, with a gold etching by Daniel Hopfer the elder, it is uncertain just which one of the Emperor's Garnitures this helmet is part of. Certain is only, this item is part of the Collection at the: Real Ameria in Madrid/ Spain.





Since I have had no chance to view armor held in Russia, I don't know much about this particular German Harnisch, but that is dates from the 16th Century and shows a beautiful, stylish line with rather fine etchings. It is currently part of the Collection at: Hermitage, in St. Petersburg/Russia





From Russia with love............more info shortly
Horse armor on parade








Not exactly an example of extraordinary workmanship, this armor deserves to be featured here nonetheless, because it is rarely seen any more.
Yes, its for a dog....specifically a hunting dog.
European nobles -Maximillian I is said to have owned as many as 1500
dogs- used to protect their highly trained animals with plate armor from the hazards of deer antlers and tusks, while flushing out deer or boar.
This particular harnisch is part of the collection at:
Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Massachusetts, ,USA

This bascinet really does not belong here, since it is of late 14th century make. Still, it is the most perfectly preserved helmet of the time that I have ever seen, and with great difficulty video taped..because the guards were really on my back.....LOLLLl
Anyway, I was absolutely blown away by the fine workmanship, the precision, and the finish , which is nowhere to be found again. INCREDIBLE...........
This helmet is part of a fantastic collection at:
Veste Coburg/Germany



Popular 17th century hunting dog armor intended specifically for use when wild boar hunting. This particular armor is designed for wear by larger, physically powerful dogs, bred to catch and hold wounded -therefore- dangerous wild boar, hence the strong breast, neck and front leg protection which still affordes excellent freedom of movement. The here pictured armor is part of the still missing: Wartburg Ruestkammer Collection of Eisenach/Germany, taken out of country by Russian Occupation Forces Feb.8, 1946




Parade armor, around 1600, iron, etched, gold  and silver. Along with an additional helmet, this Harnisch is the only remains of a worldly Wartburg Ruestkammer Collection in Eisenach/Germany, once consisting of more than 800 armors and weapons taken by Russian Occupation Forces shortly after WWII.
Upon receiving orders for his return to the Soviet Union, a Russian officer traded this suit of armor to his Eisenach land-lady in return for apartment furniture. Ending a more than a half century long search, the still missing collection was recently discovered by an American , though it remains underground at a military museum in a former Soviet Republic. Negotiations for its eventual return are ongoing.


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