Reverence

Armorer Hermes Knauer reminisces about some of the beautiful objects he has rescued and on the spirituality of craftsmanship.

Loading

Sometimes it just takes a little bit of a sparkle of gold or a little bit of silver to kind of reveal that once this was golden.

Play again
Connections Home

URL
Share
Sign Up

New Connections appear every Wednesday. Sign up for a reminder.

Captions On
/
  • Hermes Knauer
    1280852
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    1280921
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    10411024
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    1280754
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    1280927
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    10241024
  • Chariot  |  late 6th century b.c.  |  Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy  |  Bronze  |  Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    7511024
  • Statuette of a Woman  |  Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Necho II, ca. 610–595 b.c.  |  Egyptian  |  Silver  |  Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.93)
    5611024
  • Statuette of a Woman  |  Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Necho II, ca. 610–595 b.c.  |  Egyptian  |  Silver  |  Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.93)
    10381024
  • Architectural Ensemble from a Jain Meeting Hall  |  last quarter of 16th century  |  India, Gujarat, Patan  |  Teak with traces of color  |  Gift of Robert W. and Lockwood de Forest, 1916 (16.133,1,2)
    8921024
  • Burgonet  |  1543  |  Made by Filippo Negroli  |  Italian (Milan)  |  Steel, embossed and damascened with gold  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1720)
    11261024
  • Head defense for a horse (shaffron)  |  15th–17th century  |  Tibetan or Mongolian  |  Iron, leather, gold, brass or copper alloy, and textile  |  Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2004 (2004.402)
    10631024
  • Helmet with divine figures beneath a bird with outstretched wings  |  14th century b.c.; Middle Elamite period  |  Southwestern Iran  |  Bronze; gold foil over bitumen  |  Fletcher Fund, 1963 (63.74)
    10961024
  • Sword blade (katana)  |  Edo period, dated June 1622  |  Kanewaka, also known as Takahira (Japanese)  |  Steel  |  Signed and dated: Echu no kami Fujiwara no Takahira / Gen'na hachi nen rokugatsu hi  |  Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pederson, 2007 (2007.478.2a, b)
    3031024
  • Sword blade (katana)  |  Edo period, dated June 1622  |  Kanewaka, also known as Takahira (Japanese)  |  Steel  |  Signed and dated: Echu no kami Fujiwara no Takahira / Gen'na hachi nen rokugatsu hi  |  Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pederson, 2007 (2007.478.2a, b)
    5141024
  • Diana and the Stag  |  about 1620  |  Joachim Friess (German)  |  German (Augsburg)  |  Silver, partly gilt, jewels, enamel  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.746)
    8131024
  • Diana and the Stag  |  about 1620  |  Joachim Friess (German)  |  German (Augsburg)  |  Silver, partly gilt, jewels, enamel  |  Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.746)
    12291024
  • Mughal Shirt of mail and plate  |  1632/33  |  Indian  |  Iron, gold, leather  |  Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    6981024
  • Mughal Shirt of mail and plate  |  1632/33  |  Indian  |  Iron, gold, leather  |  Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    1280854
  • Mughal Shirt of mail and plate  |  1632/33  |  Indian  |  Iron, gold, leather  |  Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    1280861
  • Mughal Shirt of mail and plate  |  1632/33  |  Indian  |  Iron, gold, leather  |  Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    7851024
  • Saber  |  19th century; Ottoman period  |  Turkish  |  Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls  |  Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
    7241024
  • Saber  |  19th century; Ottoman period  |  Turkish  |  Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls  |  Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
    11501024
  • Saber  |  19th century; Ottoman period  |  Turkish  |  Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls  |  Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
    7761024
  • Hermes Knauer
    1280852
  • My name is Hermes Knauer. I'm the armorer in the arms and armor department in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. My topic is reverence.

  • I'm going to tell you a story that I got from my father who had Alzheimer's. He would ask me where I was going.

  • I would say, "Well, I have to go to work." And then he'd look at me and say, "Well, what is it that you do there?" And I told him, "I remove rust."

  • And he beckoned me closer and he said, "You can do better than that." And it was a very observant, thoughtful comment.

  • Saying that we remove rust or corrosion or dirt is only part of the process. Underneath all of this

  • age and dirt and corrosion is still something beautiful.

  • Sometimes it just takes a little bit of a sparkle of gold, or a little bit of silver, to kind of reveal that once, this was golden.

  • Reverence: it's a form of awe. The expenditure

  • of energy to make something like this is tremendous.

  • And here we are in New York, walking through a gallery, you look up and there is this incredible wonder drawing you in.

  • Looking at any object that has been so lovingly created speaks to me on a spiritual level, so many generations later. A lot of the names

  • are not known any more, but the art remains, and it will speak to future generations.

  • The bird over the top of the skull of this helmet indicates something almost primordial. I don't know what it means but I am drawn to it.

  • The Japanese sword, a ritual connecting like a chain into

  • antiquity. They still produce the blade in the same way. It is imbued with the spirit of those who have made it.

  • I do believe people have affinity for materials, and if you can harness

  • that, something very special is gonna happen.

  • I worked on a mail shirt with a very corroded and rusted surface. Looking at it through magnification

  • you see incredible detail. Every one of those rings has an inscription on it. They're the ninety-nine names

  • of Allah. I cleaned each ring front and back. While I was doing this my father was dying.

  • It turned out to be a form of meditation in a very chaotic time where I realized that control was slipping away. It becomes a very personal journey.

  • A sword that belonged to the sultan of Turkey, inset with diamonds and emeralds. As I excavated old polish, under the microscope I found the end of a rusted pin, which was part of a hinge.

  • On the top of the scabbard there was an opening, and what we found was an inscription in the emerald on the inside

  • and a gold coin from Süleyman the Magnificent. If you spend the time,incredible little secrets reveal themselves to you, and those talk to your heart. Those are the things that

  • speak to the better angels of our nature.

  • 03.23.1
    Chariot, late 6th century b.c., Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy, Bronze Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
  • 30.8.93
    Statuette of a Woman, Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Necho II, ca. 610–595 b.c., Egyptian, Silver Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.93)
  • 16.133,1,2
    Architectural Ensemble from a Jain Meeting Hall, last quarter of 16th century, India, Gujarat, Patan, Teak with traces of color Gift of Robert W. and Lockwood de Forest, 1916 (16.133,1,2)
  • 17.190.1720
    Burgonet, 1543, Made by Filippo Negroli, Italian (Milan), Steel, embossed and damascened with gold Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1720)
  • 2004.402
    Head defense for a horse (shaffron), 15th–17th century, Tibetan or Mongolian, Iron, leather, gold, brass or copper alloy, and textile Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2004 (2004.402)
  • 63.74
    Helmet with divine figures beneath a bird with outstretched wings, 14th century b.c.; Middle Elamite period, Southwestern Iran, Bronze; gold foil over bitumen Fletcher Fund, 1963 (63.74)
  • 2007.478.2a,b
    Sword blade (katana), Edo period, dated June 1622, Kanewaka, also known as Takahira (Japanese), Steel, Signed and dated: Echu no kami Fujiwara no Takahira / Gen'na hachi nen rokugatsu hi Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pederson, 2007 (2007.478.2a, b)
  • 17.190.746
    Diana and the Stag, about 1620, Joachim Friess (German), German (Augsburg), Silver, partly gilt, jewels, enamel Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.746)
  • 2008.245
    Mughal Shirt of mail and plate, 1632/33, Indian, Iron, gold, leather Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
  • 23.232.2
    Saber, 19th century; Ottoman period, Turkish, Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
  • Chariot, late 6th century b.c., Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy, Bronze Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    Statuette of a Woman, Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Necho II, ca. 610–595 b.c., Egyptian, Silver Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.93)
    Architectural Ensemble from a Jain Meeting Hall, last quarter of 16th century, India, Gujarat, Patan, Teak with traces of color Gift of Robert W. and Lockwood de Forest, 1916 (16.133,1,2)
    Burgonet, 1543, Made by Filippo Negroli, Italian (Milan), Steel, embossed and damascened with gold Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1720)
    Head defense for a horse (shaffron), 15th–17th century, Tibetan or Mongolian, Iron, leather, gold, brass or copper alloy, and textile Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2004 (2004.402)
    Helmet with divine figures beneath a bird with outstretched wings, 14th century b.c.; Middle Elamite period, Southwestern Iran, Bronze; gold foil over bitumen Fletcher Fund, 1963 (63.74)
    Sword blade (katana), Edo period, dated June 1622, Kanewaka, also known as Takahira (Japanese), Steel, Signed and dated: Echu no kami Fujiwara no Takahira / Gen'na hachi nen rokugatsu hi Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pederson, 2007 (2007.478.2a, b)
    Diana and the Stag, about 1620, Joachim Friess (German), German (Augsburg), Silver, partly gilt, jewels, enamel Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.746)
    Mughal Shirt of mail and plate, 1632/33, Indian, Iron, gold, leather Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    Saber, 19th century; Ottoman period, Turkish, Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
    8000–2000 B.C.
    2000–1000 B.C.
    1000 B.C.–1 A.D.
    1–500 A.D.
    500–1000 A.D.
    1000–1400 A.D.
    1400–1600 A.D.
    1600–1800 A.D.
    1800–1900 A.D.
    1900–Present

    Works of art in order of appearance

    Last Updated: August 19, 2013. Not all works of art in the Museum's collection may be on view on a particular day. For the most accurate location information, please check this page on the day of your visit.

    Chariot
    late 6th century b.c.
    Etruscan; From Monteleone, Italy
    Bronze
    Rogers Fund, 1903 (03.23.1)
    Not on view
    Greek and Roman ArtFirst Floor and Mezzanine
    Statuette of a Woman
    Late Period, Dynasty 26, reign of Necho II, ca. 610–595 b.c.
    Egyptian
    Silver
    Theodore M. Davis Collection, Bequest of Theodore M. Davis, 1915 (30.8.93)
    Not on view
    Egyptian ArtFirst Floor
    Architectural Ensemble from a Jain Meeting Hall
    last quarter of 16th century
    India, Gujarat, Patan
    Teak with traces of color
    Gift of Robert W. and Lockwood de Forest, 1916 (16.133,1,2)
    On view: Gallery 243
    Asian ArtSecond Floor
    Burgonet
    1543
    Made by Filippo Negroli
    Italian (Milan)
    Steel, embossed and damascened with gold
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.1720)
    On view: Gallery 374
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    Head defense for a horse (shaffron)
    15th–17th century
    Tibetan or Mongolian
    Iron, leather, gold, brass or copper alloy, and textile
    Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2004 (2004.402)
    Not on view
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    Helmet with divine figures beneath a bird with outstretched wings
    14th century b.c.; Middle Elamite period
    Southwestern Iran
    Bronze; gold foil over bitumen
    Fletcher Fund, 1963 (63.74)
    Not on view
    Ancient Near Eastern ArtSecond Floor
    Sword blade (katana)
    Edo period, dated June 1622
    Kanewaka, also known as Takahira (Japanese)
    Steel
    Signed and dated: Echu no kami Fujiwara no Takahira / Gen'na hachi nen rokugatsu hi
    Gift of Etsuko O. Morris and John H. Morris Jr., in memory of Dr. Frederick M. Pederson, 2007 (2007.478.2a, b)
    Not on view
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    Diana and the Stag
    about 1620
    Joachim Friess (German)
    German (Augsburg)
    Silver, partly gilt, jewels, enamel
    Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917 (17.190.746)
    On view: Gallery 520
    European Sculpture and Decorative ArtsFirst Floor
    Mughal Shirt of mail and plate
    1632/33
    Indian
    Iron, gold, leather
    Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.245)
    On view: Gallery 379
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor
    Saber
    19th century; Ottoman period
    Turkish
    Steel, gold, diamonds, emeralds, pearls
    Gift of Giulia P. Morosini, in memory of her father, Giovanni P. Morosini, 1923 (23.232.2)
    Not on view
    Arms and ArmorFirst Floor

    © 2011 The Metropolitan Museum of Art