Sunday, October 31, 2010

A 15th Century Targe at the Met

Wood, leather, gesso, silver foil, polychrome. Probably Austrian, early 15th century.

The knot of a cord to support the shield is visible on the front, as well as the holes where a boss probably once covered it.

The top rear of the shield. A layer of leather glued to the front of the shield wraps around to cover the edge and the very outer edge of the back, about one inch in from the edge. Neat triangular slices were cut from the leather where it wrapped around to the rear of the shield so that it lay flat without folds or overlap, the edges where the material was removed meeting in butt joins. Another layer of leather was glued over this, covering the back of the shield almost to the edge.

Damage to the edge of the shield, with the wood pushed back between two converging cuts or slits. A glancing blow from a square or diamond sectioned lance tip might have done this, or one of the points of a coronel.

Two rings, secured to the bottom rear of the shield by staples. A cord for the bridle arm to pass through might have been tied to these.

The staples seen from the front.

More information on shield construction has been updated here.


Anonymous said...

Should one infer that you were in Noo Yawk recently?


Will McLean said...


Nope. The photos are from an earlier visit. I just hadn't got around to posting them.