Royal Armouries

Shield

Images

Shield, V.52

Shield. European, 19th century (V.52)

  • Shield, V.52

    Shield. European, 19th century (V.52)

  • colour photo of Henry VIII's fully encasing armour holding a wooden pole

    Armour of King Henry VIII. (II.6)

  • monochrome image of an armoured figure and wall-mounted shield

    Shield V.52 with Henry VIII armour in the New Horse Armoury. © Private collection 2013

Statistics

Object Provenance: European, 19th century
Object Number: V.52
Length: 60.9 cm (approx 24 in)
Width: 52 cm (20.5 in)
Weight: 2.44 kg (5 lb 6 oz)

Shield

Description

Oval-shaped steel shield with the top edge flattened, roped edging and embossed decoration. A decorative broad double border which becomes single to either side of the shield surrounds the main central scene of assembled troops. In the foreground two mounted armoured knights charge each other and three ‘landsknecht’ infantrymen duel with two-hand swords. The border above and below the scene terminate in a scrolls with a bearded mask (above) and a female head with elaborate classical headdress and scarf (below). The seated figure of Victory, a laurel wreath in each extended hand, rests her feet on the upper mask with trophies extending to either side of her. The space between the borders is filled by single branches of fruit (apples?; below) and leafy branches (above). To the sides, the border has a large single motif incorporating fruit, acanthus scrolls and a fleur de lys.

The surface is blued with gilt detailing, and the borders are etched and gilt with arabesques.

Hewitt’s catalogue , p.34 notes that ‘The principal subject is the death of Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy.’ Furthermore ‘this is one of the most beautiful examples of renaissance art that has been preserved to our times.’ It is still listed as 16th century in the 1912 Inventory.

Charles the Bold was killed at the Battle of Nancy in 1477.

References

J. Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, p34, V.15
Viscount Dillon, Illustrated Guide to the Armouries, Tower of London, London, 1910: 97, p54

Statistics

Object Provenance: European, 19th century
Object Number: V.52
Length: 60.9 cm (approx 24 in)
Width: 52 cm (20.5 in)
Weight: 2.44 kg (5 lb 6 oz)

Related Objects

Foot combat armour of Henry VIII Click on the title link above to find out more.

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