1)The scene as the Roman conquest of Carthage in 146 BC depicted on the helmet, paralleled Charles V’s victory over the Ottoman Turks at the North African port of Tunis, near ancient Carthage. Like the Romans and Carthaginians, the Habsburgs and Ottomans vied for control of the Mediterranean Sea.

Italian, 16th Century, Shield of Philip II, Milan, c. 1560–1565 embossed, gold- and silver-damascened steel, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería, Madrid

2)Ancient wars were a popular subject for Renaissance parade armor, as on this shield and burgonet (an open-faced helmet) depicting scenes from the Trojan War. The left side of the helmet shows the Judgment of Paris, the Trojan prince who declared Aphrodite the most beautiful goddess after she promised him Helen, wife of the king of Sparta. On the right side, Trojans tear down part of their city walls to make way for the huge Trojan horse in which Greek warriors were hidden. Paris’ abduction of Helen and the Greeks’ departure for Troy appear in the center of the shield.

Italian, 16th Century, Shield of Philip II, Northern Italy, c. 1560–1565, gold- and silver-damascened steel, fabric, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería, Madrid.

3)Gift of the Duke of Savoy to Philip III

This intricately worked helmet and shield and the armor for a horse are from a spectacular parade garniture (a set of armor) probably commissioned by the Duke of Savoy on the occasion of his marriage to a daughter of Philip II in 1585. Eighteen years later, it was presented to Philip III as a gift from the duke, which his sons delivered to the king when they were sent from their native Turin to Madrid to be educated at the Spanish court.

The chanfron protected the horse’s face, while the crinet guarded the back of the neck.

(left) Italian, 16th Century, Chanfron and Crinet from the Garniture Presented by the Duke of Savoy to King Philip III, Milan, c. 1585, etched, embossed, gilt, and gold-damascened steel, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería, Madrid

(right) ItaIian, 16th Century, Tail Guard from the Garniture Presented by the Duke of Savoy to King Philip III, Milan, c. 1585, etched, embossed, gilt, and gold-damascened steel, Patrimonio Nacional, Real Armería, Madrid.

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