Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Horseman's Shield (Targe)

early 15th century
probably Austrian
Wood, leather, gesso, silver, paint
H. 26 11/16 in. (67.9 cm); W. 21 3/16 in. (53.9 cm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Clarence H. Mackay, 1930
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 370
The notch at the upper left served to support the lance of a charging knight. The coat of arms is thought to belong to either the von Meissau or the Eglauer family, both of Austria. On the banderoles is the defiant motto IO HARR · LAS UBER GAN (possibly, "Just wait. You'll be beaten"). Part of the motto, IO HARR, is repeated around the border. The shield comes from Reifenstein castle, in the Austrian Tirol. The castle was owned by the religious, military order known as the Teutonic Knights.
Trapp, Oswald. "Die Deutschordensschilde aus der Burg Reifenstein." Veroffentlichung des Museum Ferdinandeum Band 20/25 MMA 30.101 illus. figs. 4 and 10 and discussed pp. 44-48. Arms attributed to Otto von Meissau (d. 1439).

Trapp, Oswald. Tiroler Burgenbuch, III. Band-wipptal. Vienna, 1982. Reifenstein castle discussed pp. 141-179 (30.101 cited on p. 159 as shield of one of the von Meissau family).

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor from the Permanent Collection." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 49, no. 1 (Summer, 1991). pp. 20, 64, ill.

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