Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art The Met's Arms and Armor collection is one of the most comprehensive and encyclopedic of its kind, comprising over 14,000 objects, focusing on works that show outstanding design and decoration, rather than those of purely military or technical interest.
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Explore highlights of The Met's Arms and Armor collection at metmuseum.org, like this Japanese mask inscribed by Myōchin...
03/04/2021
Inscribed by Myōchin Muneakira | Mask | Japanese | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Explore highlights of The Met's Arms and Armor collection at metmuseum.org, like this Japanese mask inscribed by Myōchin Muneakira (Japanese, Edo period, 1673–1745).

Muneakira's masterpiece, this mask by Muneakira was already famous when it was first published in 1763. It represents Jikokuten, guardian of the East, one of the Four Kings of Heaven. The mask is also one of the few to retain its original silk head covering sewn to the upper edges.

“Fabricating a mount is about finding the right balance between creating a dynamic display and making the object as safe...
03/02/2021

“Fabricating a mount is about finding the right balance between creating a dynamic display and making the object as safe as possible. This is the case for all of our artwork, whether the object is a 19th century French firearm or a 14th - 16th century Tibetan lamellar shoulder defense, such as the example currently on view in our exhibition Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. In this instance, the leather securing the steel plates is quite fragile, so several factors needed to be taken into consideration. I made the angles of the shoulders and arms broad and the mannequin itself sturdy and robust to ease the strain on the leather. I constructed it from conservation-friendly materials like ethafoam and unbleached muslin textile. In the end, curators and conservators worked together to preserves the armor while also giving it a strong presence in the display case.” ⁣

-Katrina Zacharias, Fellow, Arms and Armor Conservation⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #ArmorLab #Tibet #lamellar #armor #mount #mannequin #conservation⁣

Lamellar Shoulder Defenses. Tibetan, 14th–16th century. Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2020

This set of engraving tools belonged to Louis Daniel Nimschke, the renowned German-American engraver who specialized in ...
02/26/2021

This set of engraving tools belonged to Louis Daniel Nimschke, the renowned German-American engraver who specialized in the decoration of firearms. Nimschke undoubtedly used these tools to create most if not all of the engraved designs in the workbook featured in our previous post. Together, these tools and the workbook offer an invaluable and unique window into the creative and technical processes of one of the most talented engravers of the nineteenth century.⁣

The set comprises sixty-two specialized hammers, planishers, files, gravers, punches, and calipers, some stamped with manufacturers’ names. Several Nimschke inscribed with his initials and a date.⁣

The tools include pieces of both American and European manufacture, speaking to Nimschke’s German heritage and journey as an immigrant. Nimschke trained at the Industrial School in Zella, Thuringia, Germany, where he studied under the master, Ernst Moritz. There he also trained under Gustav Ernst, a preeminent instructor responsible for the development of a number of Germany’s most distinguished industrial artists who, like Nimschke, would go on to settle in the U.S. in the late 1840s–50s and create what later became known as the “American” style of firearms engraving. Nimschke arrived in New York in 1853.⁣

The tool set, a gift from The Robert M. Lee Foundation, is on display in the Museum for the first time in our latest exhibition, Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. Tap the *LINK IN OUR BIO* to discover more on the exhibition's website. ⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #engraving #tools #toolset #hammer #immigrant #firearms #Nimschke #NewYork ⁣

Set of Engraving Tools of Louis D. Nimschke (1832–1904). American and European, ca. 1850–1900. Gift of The Robert M. Lee Foundation, in Honor of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2018 (2018.856.20a–jjj)

02/25/2021
#MetKids—How Does the Museum Take Care of All the Armor?

#MetKids​—How Does the Museum Take Care of All the Armor? Join Xavier, age 11, and learn how The Met's conservators keep the Arms and Armor collection looking sharp!

Join Xavier, age 11, and learn how The Met's conservators keep the Arms and Armor collection looking sharp!Credits#MetKids is a digital feature made for, wit...

These are pages and details from a workbook compiled by Louis Daniel Nimschke, one of the nineteenth century’s most tale...
02/24/2021

These are pages and details from a workbook compiled by Louis Daniel Nimschke, one of the nineteenth century’s most talented and prolific firearms engravers, as a record of his own work and other artists’ designs that inspired him. It contains hundreds of inked impressions (called "pulls") taken directly from firearms he engraved. Though the workbook preserves only a small fraction of his oeuvre, it spans almost his entire professional career, from around 1850 to around 1900, capturing the breadth and quality of his life’s work. It records the designs of some of his best-known firearms and, because Nimschke only occasionally signed guns he engraved, it provides valuable reference points for identifying unsigned pieces by his hand.⁣

Nimschke was preeminent among a new class of artisan who specialized in the ornamentation of machine-made guns. The increasing industrialization of American firearms production in the 1850s gave rise to this new breed of artist who, by carving directly into firearms’ steel components, transformed factory-produced products into unique works. Firearms manufacturers, retailers, gunsmiths, and individual gun owners alike sought the services of the best gun engravers. ⁣

A German immigrant who established his workshop in New York by 1859, six years after his arrival in the City, Nimschke worked as an independent contractor, decorating firearms for dozens of companies and individual clients over the course of his career. He embellished high-profile exhibition-grade and presentation-quality guns for a domestic and international clientele, in addition to decorating scores of more modest pieces.⁣

The workbook, a gift from The Robert M. Lee Foundation, is on display in the Museum for the first time in our latest exhibition, Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. Tap the *LINK IN OUR BIO* to discover more on the exhibition's website. And stop by Gallery 380 today!⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #MetEmperors #engraving #pull #firearms #Nimschke #NewYork⁣

Workbook of Louis D. Nimschke (1832–1904). American and European, ca. 1850–1900. Gift of The Robert M. Lee Foundation, 2018

Watch this YouTube video posted by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University, to hear a lectur...
02/23/2021
The Allure of Collecting Arms and Armor

Watch this YouTube video posted by the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology at Harvard University, to hear a lecture presented by emeritus curator from the Department of Arms and Armor at The Met, Donald J. La Rocca, titled "The Allure of Collecting Arms and Armor."

The lecture was presented in conjunction with the Peabody Museum's exhibition "Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures."

Lecture in conjunction with Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology's "Arts of War: Artistry in Weapons across Cultures" exhibition by Donald J. LaRocca, C...

“This pair of gilt iron crupper pendants, originally part of a rich set of horse trappings, was made in Tibet in the 14t...
02/22/2021

“This pair of gilt iron crupper pendants, originally part of a rich set of horse trappings, was made in Tibet in the 14th or 15th century. The top medallion of each pendant would have been attached to straps that suspended the pendants on the sides of a horse’s hindquarters. Each pendant is linked to the top medallion by a removable pin in the form of hemispherical chiseled and gilt knobs. Originally, these pins would have been secured with a matching pin finial. Both finials were missing when we acquired the pendants in 2016. ⁣⁣
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A small missing component is not usually a concern for us but, as crupper pendants are extremely rare and might be unfamiliar to visitors, we believed that the pin finials’ absence might give the false impression that the pins were not meant to have finials originally. Thus, we decided to create replacement finials. ⁣⁣
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To do this, I took a mold off one of the preserved pin finials and used it to make wax copies, which I then cast in bronze. We decided to use bronze as it was more time efficient to cast the pieces than chisel them from iron (as fun as that would be). Additionally, a dissimilar metal would help identify the finials as replacements. ⁣⁣
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I filed and polished the bronze finials, sharpened the decoration using gravers and chasing tools, and covered the finials in gold leaf. I then artificially aged and weathered the surface using a variety of paints, lacquer, and pigments, until the replacements blended in with the patina of the original parts of the pendants. ⁣⁣

Both new finials were stamped on the back with a small “MMA” mark to further identify them as replacements.⁣⁣
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The restored finials are not permanently attached and easy to remove should we wish to in the future. ⁣⁣
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The pendants were also cleaned with solvents to remove old coatings and grime to better reveal the intricate decoration.” ⁣⁣
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-Sean Belair, Assistant Conservator ⁣⁣
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#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #ArmorLab #Tibet #horse #horses #equestrian #crupper #pendant #conservation⁣⁣
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Pair of Crupper Pendants. Tibetan, 14th–15th century. Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2016 (2016.316.1, .2)

Pierre Cisteron was an eminent gunmaker working in the town of Figeac in southwestern France. Although little is known a...
02/19/2021

Pierre Cisteron was an eminent gunmaker working in the town of Figeac in southwestern France. Although little is known about his life today, the firearms that bear his signature demonstrate creativity and technical mastery. His abilities are clearly exhibited in this long pistol, which forms a pair with one in the collection of the Musée de l’Armée, Paris.⁣

In its general form and some aspects of its decoration, the pistol conforms to the standard design of fine French firearms from the period. These characteristics include the plain barrel, the external wheel adorned with minimal and precise engraved designs, the lockplate chiseled at the rear with a mask in low relief, and the angular trigger guard fretted with a delicate floral pattern are all classic elements of the repertoire of leading French gunmakers of the time.⁣

By contrast, the adornment of the grip with colorful washers right above the pommel is unique to this pistol and its mate. The carving of the stock with trophies of arms is another original feature, one, however, that distinguishes all known pistols by Cisteron, most notably a pair of wheellock pistols in the Wallace Collection, London (inv. A 1180–A 1181), and a pair of flintlock pistols (subject of a future post!) that is also included in our new exhibition, Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor.⁣

Thanks to the promised gifts of this pistol and the pair of flintlock pistols by Cisteron, the Museum will be able to showcase this master’s versatility and his original contributions to the gunmaker’s art more fully than any other collection or museum within or outside of France.⁣

Tap the *LINK IN OUR BIO* to discover more on the exhibition's website. And stop by Gallery 380 today!⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #Cisteron #wheellock #pistol #pair #Figeac⁣

Pierre Cisteron (French, ca. 1589–1684). French, Figeac, ca. 1630–40. Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2020

Have you seen the latest episodes of Met Stories? As part of The Met's 150th anniversary, Met Stories is a new video ser...
02/18/2021
Met Stories | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Have you seen the latest episodes of Met Stories?

As part of The Met's 150th anniversary, Met Stories is a new video series and year-long social media initiative that shares unexpected and compelling stories gathered from the many people who visit The Met, whether artists, teachers, curators, actors, museum staff, designers, thought-leaders, or public figures.

Follow the link below to view videos.

Have you ever heard a museum love story? Did you know that art has the power to heal? Met visitors share their personal stories in this new series, Met Stories.

Among the many enameled gold or silver-gilt presentation swords awarded by the British government and civic bodies durin...
02/16/2021

Among the many enameled gold or silver-gilt presentation swords awarded by the British government and civic bodies during the Napoleonic Wars, the smallsword presented to Captain Alexander Cochrane (1758–1832) in 1795 stands out for its unusual form and imaginative decoration. ⁣

The majority of examples are of traditional smallsword type. The hilt of Cochrane’s sword, on the other hand, resembles the British infantry officers’ sword adopted in 1788 and made a regulation pattern in 1796. While smallsword pommels of this period were typically oval in shape, that of Cochrane’s sword is unique in its globular form, which is encircled by a continuous band of enamel depicting the signs of the zodiac. ⁣

The sword is further personalized with a representation in painted enamel on the upper side of the inner shell guard of the naval engagement in 1795 for which Cochrane was awarded the sword, and with an engraved inscription on the underside of the shell guard, transcribed in full on the Museum's website (link in bio).⁣

The holdings of the Department of Arms and Armor include three fine examples of British presentation swords with enameled decoration, all by the London goldsmith James Morisset, who specialized in enameled swords and snuff boxes, but these are of conventional smallsword type. The acquisition of the Cochrane sword, a Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken in honor of the Museum’s 150th anniversary, adds an example that is unusual, highly inventive, and exquisitely executed, both complementing and expanding the existing collection.⁣

The sword is now on view in our latest special exhibition: Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. ⁣

Tap the *LINK IN OUR BIO* to discover more on the exhibition's website. And stop by Gallery 380 today!⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #sword #zodiac #enamel ⁣

Smallsword and Scabbard Presented to Captain Alexander Cochrane. Goldsmith: James Morisset (British, London 1738–1815). Hallmarked for 1796–97. Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken

Happy Lunar New Year! 🧧 🎉⁣⁣The Met will present a multilingual Virtual Lunar New Year Festival this Saturday, February 1...
02/12/2021

Happy Lunar New Year! 🧧 🎉
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The Met will present a multilingual Virtual Lunar New Year Festival this Saturday, February 13, plus related activities through February 16. #MetLunar
See the full schedule: met.org/MetLunar2021

Happy Lunar New Year! 🧧 🎉
⁣⁣
We're welcoming in the Year of the Ox with depictions of oxen and water buffalo—traditionally considered the same category of animals in China—from the last 3,000 years.

⁣⁣See these and more in our new exhibition "Celebrating the Year of the Ox," on view through January 17, 2022. 🐂 Visit in-person or take a virtual tour, in Mandarin or English.

Virtual tour in English: met.org/2MQQ7Y5
Virtual tour in Mandarin: met.org/3ph6TN9
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P.S. Join us virtually for our daylong, multilingual Virtual Lunar New Year Festival this Saturday, February 13, plus related activities through February 16. #MetLunar

See the full schedule: met.org/MetLunar2021

🐂 ⁣Unknown Chinese maker. Herdboy Riding a Water Buffalo, late 17th–early 18th century.

🐂 ⁣Unknown Chinese maker. Water Buffalo, 18th century.

🐂 Unknown Chinese maker. Herdboy with Water Buffalo, 18th century.

🐂 Unknown Chinese maker. Zodiac Figure of an Ox (detail). Yuan dynasty (1271–1368).

The beautifully conceived hilt of this sword was previously unrecognized as made from models created by the artist John ...
02/11/2021

The beautifully conceived hilt of this sword was previously unrecognized as made from models created by the artist John Quincy Adams Ward and appears to be the only complete hilt of this design to survive. Early in his career, while establishing his reputation for the small and large-scale figural works that made him the most famous American sculptor of the Civil War era, Ward created models for a variety of decorative items and executed at least five important commissions for the design of presentation arms. These include a sword given to Ulysses S. Grant (Smithsonian Institution); a pair of pistols given by President Abraham Lincoln to the governor of a Adrianople, Turkey (FDR Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY); two swords presented by Lincoln to the King of Thailand as diplomatic gifts (present whereabouts unknown), and a naval presentation sword awarded to Admiral Andrew Hull Foote in 1863 (present whereabouts unknown).⁣

The sword seen here, a promised gift to the Met, is closely related to the Foote sword. Although there are no images of the Foote sword, the details of its appearance are known through written sources and an unfinished bronze cast of its shell guard of the sword, given to the American Academy of Arts and Letters in New York shortly after Ward’s death. The Met sword is highly significant, therefore, both for the beauty and originality of its design and as a vivid and important representation of an otherwise lost work by Ward, one that amply demonstrates his appreciation of classical ornament and his great skills as a modeler.⁣

The sword is on display in our latest special exhibition: Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. ⁣

Tap the *LINK IN OUR BIO* to visit the exhibition's website. And stop by Gallery 380 today!⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #MetEmperors #Navy #sword #Ward⁣

Naval Presentation Sword. Manufacturer: Ames Manufacturing Company (American, Chicopee, Massachusetts, 1829–1935). Designer: John Quincy Adams Ward (American, Urbana, Ohio 1830–1910 New York), ca. 1865. Promised Gift of Edward V. LaPuma, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary

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Dear friends, colleagues, swordsmen, warriors and martial artists. My name is Bartosz Sieniawski and im swordsman and producer of “Born for the Saber” film. You might know me from sieniawskifncing YT channel and from my scientific work regarding to HEMA. Im writing to you because I would like to ask you for help. Last year we decided to tell people the story of polish sabre. The goal was to promote part of European martial art in the cinematic way and put some spotlight on our heritage. We gathered professional filmmakers and actors, got founds and created something unique. Something that might be interesting and inspiring for people who love history, cold steel and martial arts with all theirs diversity. We made this film because we want to share with you part of our national tradition. Tradition of treating, using and forging this incredible weapon that is considered to be one of the best melee weapon on the globe. You can get familiar with this story in 6 languages including (English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian and Polish) All we would like to ask you for is help with sharing the information about the movie on social media. For you its only one post, for us its possibilty to spread the word and tell the people beautiful story about our homeland. LINKS TO FILM Vimeo – Film available worldwide https://vimeo.com/ondemand/bornforthesaber Amazon Prime Video USA - https://www.amazon.com/Born-Saber-Pawel-Del%C4…/…/B0823C389H UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Born-Saber-Pawel-Del%…/…/B083CS14HJ Itunes – North America, Latin America, Europe If you have any additional questions please don’t hesitate to write me back or call. email: [email protected] number +48 661-500-017 Thank you for reading this and looking forward to hear from You. Your’s Sincerely Bartosz Sieniawski
Excited to be making plans for a trip up to see this amazing exhibit!
Dearly love this resource as a further study of arms and armor.
Here is a great opportunity to learn some medieval techniques by some of the World’s top most armor makers around! Included is Stack Raising, how multiple helms (Sallet) we’re formed simultaneously! Sept 27-29 https://www.facebook.com/TheForgingULA/
Current dagger stories:
Does a good book or an online tool exist regarding the blacksmith makers marks found on European Cuirass breastplates Armor 18th and 19th century? Any comment regarding this matter is welcome. Thank you.
Hey there, I've been trying to find out about evolution and design of armour in Northern India around the 15th century. So far most of what I've come across are pieces from 17th century on wards. From most of what I've read, it seems plate and maille construction was popular during the 15th century, along with turban helmets, but thats all mainly Turkish and hasn't got much variation. Art (paintings) from that periods as well as on wards, don't do a good job depicting what people wore. Its often a mix of fabric, maille, lamellar. The drawings are unrealistic and out of proportion. Would really appreciate it if I could get a lead in it. Has any armour and helmets from the Indo-Persian region survived ? Would love to see images of it. Thanks
Anyone have an idea of how to stop rust on a Spanish sword from 1812? Or who I might consult? Thank you!
Is there anyway to get in touch by email anyone in this dept of the Museum? Please let me know via PM. Thanks.