Black and White Elbow Gauntlet for the Right Hand

Black and White Elbow Gauntlet for the Right Hand

c.1570

Steel, blackened with leather

Overall: 43.2 x 12.7 cm (17 x 5 in.)

Weight: 800 g (1.76 lbs.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1082

Did you know?

To throw a gauntlet or armored glove at the feet of your enemy or opponent was a grave insult, one only to be matched with personal combat. This is where we get the modern phrase "throw down the gauntlet."

Description

Plate armor alternately decorated with brightly polished ("white") and darkened ("black") surface areas is commonly referred to as "black and white" armor. The black color results from painting the surface areas, or merely leaving them dark from the forging process. The gauntlet here has been further embellished with an embossed cuff. The 1500s saw the revival of this ancient technique also known as repoussé. First the pattern is drawn onto the surface and then hammered and punched from the inside to gradually shape the desired raised design on the outer surface of the metal. This technique was reserved for only the costliest of armors.

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