Armor, c. 1520

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A suit of armor says a lot about the state of warfare and fashion at the time of its creation. As arms makers devised increasingly deadly weapons like the mace and the crossbow, armorers produced armor equal to the latest threat, yet also stylish. In the 1500s, military strategy emphasized the cavalry charge with lance, followed by hand-to-hand combat with sword and shield. A lance rest installed on the breastplate kept the lance from sliding backward and helped diffuse the shock if the lance hit home. The rounded shape of the breastplate and helmet caused blows from a sword or lance to glance off. The breastplate’s belted form and the ropelike edges of breastplate and gauntlets followed contemporary men’s fashion, showing the owner to be a man of taste and means.

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Germany, Armor (#388)
Details
Title
Armor
Role
Artist
Accession Number
23.54
Curator Approved

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