Purchase, Rogers Fund and George D. Pratt Gift, 1933
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 371
The ownership of this armor by Ferdinand I (1503–1564) is indicated by the heraldic emblems on the toe caps: the imperial double-headed eagle surmounted by a royal crown, which signifies Ferdinand’s honorific status as king of the Romans and designated successor to his brother, Emperor Charles V. The image of the Virgin and Child on the breastplate was also used by Charles V on his own armors. The backplate is decorated with crossed staves and firesteels, the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, an elite chivalric society of which Ferdinand was a member.
Kunz Lochner, Nuremberg’s most celebrated armorer of the period, made several armors for both Ferdinand and his son Archduke Maximilian (1527–1576), including two matching armors produced about 1546 that are very similar to the one exhibited here.
The helmet of the Museum’s armor was not made for it originally but has been associated with the armor since at least the early nineteenth century.
Marking: Marked on the inner and outer faces of the principle elements: the blazon of the city of Nuremberg; and the initial N within pearled border, denoting Nuremberg.
Count Franz I zu Erbach-Erbach, Schloss Erbach im Odenwald, Germany (by 1807–d. 1823; said to originate from Amberg; by descent through the family to Count Conrad zu Erbach-Erbach); Count Conrad zu Erbach-Erbach, Schloss Erbach im Odenwald (1920–1933; sold through A.S. Drey to MMA, 1933)