Although its various parts were not originally made to go together, this imposing ensemble illustrates excellently the kind of ‘panoply’ produced in the last great period of European armour manufacture.
A suit of armour was not only intended to protect its wearer from missiles, swords or hammer blows - although the kind of steel plate manufactured in Italy and Germany in the 16th century did this job admirably. Armour such as this drew attention to one’s social status, one’s fashion consciousness and, by virtue of its great cost, one’s wealth. This was never more true than in Germany in the 16th century when full armour was worn at political meetings, weddings and civic ceremonies.
Whole composite armour
Early 16th century South Germany, for field or cavalry use. Decorated with fluting in the Maximilian fashion.
Collection record: 17686
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