lunedì 30 maggio 2016

Sallet Barbuta Italy 1450

Sallet / Barbuta
Made in Italy, probably Venice
Date: c. 1450-1470
Medium: Steel (corroded to a brown patina)
Dimensions: Weight: 5.7 lb. (2.59 kg)

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martedì 24 maggio 2016

Parade Shield Villani family Florence

ca. 1380-1450

Kite or long heater shield made of wood covered with painted and gilt gesso, charged with the arms of the Villani family of Florence, from the Palazzo Guadagni, Florence, mid 15th century.

Shield made of wood covered with painted and gilt gesso on the outside and leather on the inside, charged with the arms of the Villani family of Florence, a "griffin rampant sable with a label of three points gules, within a bordure engrailed with gules" (Hayward:European Armour: "gules" is a heraldic term for red). The griffin is composed of thickly built up gesso painted black or dark blue set in a gilt gesso scrolled background. The border is indented with red dog-tooth patterns. According to the early museum records, there was no trace of an arm loop but three nails remained, presumably on the inside.

Arms of the Villani family of Florence 'Or, a griffin rampant sable with a label of three points gules, within a bordure engrailed gules'.

The shield originally belonged to the Villani, a family of prominent wool merchants, who from the 1470s were known for their hostility towards the Medici, the leading family of Florence of the day.

Wooden shields like this example were used for parades, cavalcades and carnivals in 15th century Florence, rather than protection in battle, and were aimed to show off the prestige of a family.

Height: 111.8 cm, Width: 55.9 cm, Depth: 18.2 cm

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giovedì 19 maggio 2016

Florence Wedding Box 1460 - Victoria & Albert Museum London

Florence ca. 1460
Wood, covered with gilt gesso decoration and partly painted in glaze

Its cylindrical shape and the lavish gilding suggest that it was used for storing an expensive hat or elaborate headdress. Similar gilt gesso decoration was used on cassoni or storage chests made in Italy at the same time. 
The decoration is more in keeping with gothic scrolling and heraldry than with the revived interest in classical myths that was one of the hallmarks of the Renaissance. 
The wood may have been cheap but the decoration was expensive and the aim no doubt was to enhance the status of the owner.

Height: 14.6 cm, Diameter: 34.2 cm, Weight: 1.68 kg

Victoria & Albert Museum London

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lunedì 16 maggio 2016

Poleaxe 1470 France

Possibly made in France, Europe
Date: c. 1470-1480
Medium: Steel (Head); wood, replaced (Shaft)
Dimensions Head: 5 3/4 x 12 3/4 inches (14.6 x 32.4 cm)

mercoledì 11 maggio 2016

Cesare Borgia Sword scabbard - 15th century

Italy (northern, made)
ca. 1498 (made)

V&A Museum London

This leather scabbard is decorated on the obverse side with scenes of worship and the sacrifice of a ram to the Goddess of Peace (or possibly Venus), placed above an imperial eagle flanked by scrolls and cornucopias, teminating in a series of marked out but uncompleted motifs. On the reverse side there are a number of CAESAR monograms and groups of three flames, the impresa (or personal emblem) of Cesare Borgia (ca.1475-1507), born in Rome, the illegitimate son of Pope Alexander VI (1431-1503), and created Cardinal of Valencia in 1493. This side is fitted with three leather tubes near the top, for straps to fasten the scabbard to the baldric.

In addition to these monograms and imprese, there are two cartouches, the upper one containing two amorini placed either side of a damaged coat of arms and the lower one the Goddess of Peace (or Venus). Near the top on the obverse side, the scabbard is inscribed MATERIAM SUPERABIT OPUS (toil will tame the material).

lunedì 9 maggio 2016

Statue Saint George and Dragon - Detail

Detail from Victoria and Albert statue of Saint George and Dragon

Ulm, Germany (probably, made)
ca. 1480-1490 (made)

Statue, Hand carved limewood

St. George stands on an irregular base wearing elaborate armour. 
His raised right hand holds a tournament lance and his left hand is clasped around the turned neck of the dragon. 
It would have been fully painted, but has subsequently been stripped of its colouring with the exception of flesh tone in the face, traces of black colour indicating the pupils, red traces in the mouth, ear, and the wound of the dragon, and green pigments on the base. 
The head of the lance is missing and the index finger of the right hand is a later replacement. 
The back of the body has been hollowed out and the reverse of the base is flat.

Height: 129 cm, Width: 55 cm, Depth: 30.5 cm

venerdì 6 maggio 2016

Frame Purse 1480-1490 Northern Europe

Frame Purse
Private Collection
dated 1480-1490
Northern Europe

height 23cm
width 19,5 cm
depth 4 cm

mercoledì 4 maggio 2016

Decorated Knife Sheat - 14/15th century

Leather knife sheath. Impressed decoration with incised stabbing.
The decoration is divided into two panels denoting the handle and blade areas

Measurements: L 205 mm; W 37 mm

London Museum

martedì 3 maggio 2016

Horseman's Targe

Horseman's Targe (shield) 
painted with the Figure of Saint George and with the Coat of Arms of the Town of Zwickau
Possibly made in Zwickau, Saxony, Germany, Europe
Date:c. 1450
Medium: Wood; gessoed linen; silver; leather; paint
Approximately: 27 × 16 1/2 inches, 7.9 lb.
(68.6 × 41.9 cm, 3.6 kg)

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