(German, active Augsburg, 1477–1515)
Steel and leather
Lent by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna 9.2022
The mark of Lorenz Helmschmid from Augsburg (Bavaria, Germany) appears on this armor, one of the foremost armorers in late medieval Europe.
Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I commissioned this suit from one of the foremost armorers in late medieval Europe for his coronation as King of the Romans in 1486. The emperor, a noted patron of fine armor, sponsored some of the most extravagant tournaments of his era. This suit was made for a Stechen, a joust of peace with blunted lances. As some such jousts eliminated tilt barriers, walls between mounted combatants, the possibility of dangerous collisions necessitated specialized armor. A blind shaffron, the horse's head defense, ensured the horse did not deviate from its course in fear of collision. A large “frog-mouthed” helmet covered a second padded helmet to protect and immobilize the wearer’s head.
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