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.
(20)

This elegantly proportioned, gracefully shaped barbut demonstrates the virtuoso talent of the armorer, who forged the he...
07/10/2020

This elegantly proportioned, gracefully shaped barbut demonstrates the virtuoso talent of the armorer, who forged the helmet from a single plate of steel, hammering the metal into shape while maintaining the protective thickness of the plate and smooth rounded glancing surfaces. Its beauty is thus integral with its protective function. ⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #armor #barbut #form #function #Venice⁣

Barbut. Italian, Venice, ca. 1460. Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942 (42.50.15) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

07/10/2020
How to Polish a Japanese Sword

Revisit this "Sunday at The Met" program from 2009 to learn about how Japanese sword blades are cared for.

Learn more about the exhibition Art of the Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armor, 1156—1868, on view at the Met October 21, 2009 — January 10, 2010: http://tinyur...

The degree of ornamentation and the range of symbols found on Tibetan arms and armor can vary considerably, but generall...
07/08/2020
The Decoration of Tibetan Arms and Armor | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The degree of ornamentation and the range of symbols found on Tibetan arms and armor can vary considerably, but generally the same decorative motifs found on other Tibetan objects and works of art, such as furniture, ritual implements, sculpture, and paintings, are seen on arms and armor.

The degree of ornamentation and the range of symbols found on Tibetan arms and armor can vary considerably, but generally the same decorative motifs found on other Tibetan objects and works of art, such as furniture, ritual implements, sculpture, and paintings, are seen on arms and armor.

This plate comes from the right half of the cantle, or back rim, of what must have been an extremely luxurious ceremonia...
07/06/2020

This plate comes from the right half of the cantle, or back rim, of what must have been an extremely luxurious ceremonial saddle, either made in Tibet or in China for the Tibetan market. Its iron ground is intricately pierced, chiseled, and damascened overall in gold and silver. The fineness and complexity of the workmanship, particularly on the scrollwork interspersed with dragons, are particularly noteworthy.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #Tibet #China #pierced #chiseled #damascened #gold #silver #dragon #cantle #horse #horses #equestrian⁣

Right Half of a Cantle Plate from a Saddle. Tibetan or Chinese, 16th–18th century. Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2008 (2008.122) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

07/02/2020
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

"Somebody had to be the bridge."

How can art bring us closer? Ariun Sanjaajamts, founder of the New York Mongolian Cultural Council, reflects on discovering, reconnecting with, and sharing her Mongolian culture within The Met's halls.

🎥 Watch more #MetStories at met.org/MetStories. #Met150

This smallsword was presented by the City of Paris to Commandant Ildefonse Favé to commemorate his official announcement...
06/30/2020

This smallsword was presented by the City of Paris to Commandant Ildefonse Favé to commemorate his official announcement to the city of the birth of Napoléon, Prince Imperial (1856–1879), son of Emperor Napoleon III, on March 16, 1856, as indicated by the inscription on its blade. The birth of the Bonaparte heir was celebrated as an event of national importance throughout France. Sometime after the announcement, this sword was commissioned from Lepage-Moutier, a renowned firm of Parisian gunmakers. To create the hilt, Lepage employed Paul Bled (1807–1881), one of the most famous modelers and steel chiselers of the period. Perhaps to evoke the glory of previous reigns, Bled made the hilt as an exacting replica of an eighteenth-century smallsword, copying an example then in the private collection of Alfred-Emilien O'Hara, comte de Nieuwerkerke (1811–1892), Minister of Fine Arts to Napoleon III and Director of the Louvre. The Nieuwerkerke sword was acquired later by Sir Richard Wallace and is now part of the @wallacemuseum in London.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #smallsword #sword #Napoleon ⁣

Smallsword Presented by the City of Paris to Commandant Ildefonse Favé (1812–1894). Steel-chiseler: Paul Bled (French, Falaise 1807–1881). Manufacturer: Lepage-Moutier (French 1842–1868). French, Paris, 1856. Gift of Peter Finer, in honor of Stuart Pyhrr, 2014 (2014.595) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This helmet was forged from watered steel and decorated in gold with arabesques and Koranic inscriptions. It is very sim...
06/30/2020
Helmet | Turkish, probably Istanbul | The Met

This helmet was forged from watered steel and decorated in gold with arabesques and Koranic inscriptions. It is very similar to one now in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, made about 1560 for a grand vizier of the Ottoman sultan Süleyman the Magnificent (reigned 1520–66).

Helmet. Turkish, probably Istanbul, ca. 1560. Rogers Fund, 1904 (04.3.456a).

Inscription: Inscribed on top of the nasal: "There is no God but God", "Mohammad is the Messenger of God"; below the nasal: "Victory from God", "By order of Safi ad-Din Ahmad Ibn (al-Hasan?)"; at the base of the nasal: "and close (imminent) conquest"; on the band at the base of bowl...

This large, sculptural elbow reinforce (soprabacciale), pictured mounted in the second photo, is part of an unusually la...
06/29/2020

This large, sculptural elbow reinforce (soprabacciale), pictured mounted in the second photo, is part of an unusually large armor garniture from the armory of the Dos Aguas family in Valencia, Spain. The garniture contains pieces for use in battle and for the tilt in both the Italian and German fashions. The tilt was a tournament fought on horseback between two opponents armed with lances and separated by a lengthwise barrier.⁣

If you'd like to find out more about the Dos Aguas armor (and European armor in general) it's a centerpiece of Curator Don LaRocca's recent book How to Read European Arms and Armor. Link in bio!⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #armor #gartniture #elbow #Valencia #etching⁣

Large Elbow Reinforce (Pasguard or Soprabracciale). Italian, ca. 1550 to 1575. Gift of George D. Pratt, 1927 (27.159.4) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This ceremonial shaffron (horse's head defense) is unusually complete and is one of the few examples to retain its origi...
06/23/2020

This ceremonial shaffron (horse's head defense) is unusually complete and is one of the few examples to retain its original cheek plates. It is engraved with tulip designs and inscribed across the forehead: "Made at the order of Emir Yusuf."⁣⁣
⁣⁣
It relates to several other shaffrons made of both iron and gilt copper that feature a flat forehead area with an embossed T-shaped design in the center and deeply angled sides. The style was evidently long lived, with examples of the type having been dated from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century. Many are inscribed with the names of amirs and pashas, including Hafiz Ahmed Pasha, ‘Ali Pasha, and Al-Fakir Mehmed Pasha, in addition to Amir Yusuf on this example. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
During the Ottoman period, this type of shaffron may have been worn by the horses accompanying the mahmal (litter) to Mecca. If so, then the inscribed names could be those of the amirs al-hajj, the caravan commanders who were the pashas responsible for this aspect of the pilgrimage.⁣⁣
⁣⁣
#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #armor #shaffron #Turkey #horse #horses #equestrian #gold⁣⁣ #MetAnywhere
⁣⁣
Shaffron (Horse's Head Defense). Turkish, 17th century (21.102.3) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Although an accomplished work of ca. 1700, this helmet revives a style originally favored much earlier, during the Murom...
06/17/2020

Although an accomplished work of ca. 1700, this helmet revives a style originally favored much earlier, during the Muromachi period (1336–1576). The remarkable similarity of this helmet to actual examples from the Muromachi period strongly suggests that it was made by an armorer who had attentively studied and fully understood the defining stylistic features of those earlier works. ⁣⁣

It is exceptional, too, for its front-lobed bowl (a type generally known as zenshōzan), the great span of the upper nape defense, and the presence of cheekpieces and a secondary nape defense. Unlike the bowl, which is of steel, both nape defenses and the cheekpieces are entirely made of lacquered leather, secured together by deerskin and silk lacing. ⁣
⁣⁣
#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #Japan #samurai #Zenshōzan #Edo #Muromachi⁣ #revival⁣
⁣⁣
Helmet in the Zenshōzan Style. Japanese, ca. 1700. Purchase, Gift of Herman A. E. and Paul C. Jaehne, by exchange, 2017 (2017.647a, b) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This rapier rewards inspection, so let's take a closer look!⁣The guard's branches are chiseled in high relief with a mul...
06/01/2020

This rapier rewards inspection, so let's take a closer look!

The guard's branches are chiseled in high relief with a multitude of tiny battling warriors – forty-two on horseback and forty-four on foot – some of them dressed in Roman armor, others nude. In some areas faint landscape details are present in the background behind the figures and judging from the traces of gold that remain, the entire background was apparently once gilt.⁣

The hilt of this rapier is one of a conspicuous group of late 16th and early 17th century hilts chiseled with numerous minute figures on the pommels and guards. Some of the finest examples are preserved in the former Royal Saxon Armory (now the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen) in Dresden. The stylized foliage on the rear of these swords’ guards is very similar to motifs found on German swords, and this thus leads us to believe that our hilt is of German, possibly Saxon origin.⁣

The inscription on the ricasso of the blade refers to Pietro de Formicano, one of the famous bladesmiths working in Belluno, north of Venice, at the turn of the seventeenth century. ⁣

The crowned monogram on the ricasso has been identified as the ownership mark of Ferdinando de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reigned 1621–70). This sword, or at least its blade, apparently once formed part of the famous Medici armory which was housed in the Uffizi until its dispersal in the 1780s.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #rapier #battle #Medici #sword #balde #detail #Dresden #Tuscany #virtualtour #Gallery376 #MetAnywhere ⁣

Rapier. Bladesmith: Pietro de Formicano (Italian, Belluno, active ca. 1600). Hilt, Northern European, possibly German; blade, Italian, Bellunoca, 1610–20. Bequest of Col. Wickliffe P. Draper, 1972 (1973.27.3) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Looking for some afternoon reading? Check out former Arms and Armor fellow Marina Viallon's fascinating article revealin...
05/29/2020

Looking for some afternoon reading? Check out former Arms and Armor fellow Marina Viallon's fascinating article revealing new discoveries about our 14th century Franco-Neapolitan curb bit, one of the treasures of the equestrian section of our collection! *Link in comments!*⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #curbbit #bit #horses #horse #equestrian #enamel #Naples #Angevin⁣

Curb Bit. Franco-Neapolitan, second quarter 14th century. Rogers Fund, 1904 (04.3.478a, b) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, American silversmiths exchanged the refined, elegant aesthetic of th...
05/28/2020
Nineteenth-Century American Silver | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

During the first quarter of the nineteenth century, American silversmiths exchanged the refined, elegant aesthetic of the late 1780s and ’90s for a bolder, more substantial style.

Learn more in this Timeline of Art History essay, which includes one of our Tiffany-decorated Smith and Wesson revolvers.

Silver had long been associated with ceremony and achievement, but during the nineteenth century the preponderance of presentation vessels became even greater.

The virtual tour now moves to the Russell B. Aitken Gallery of edged weapons, and we're starting with a beauty! ⁣⁣This s...
05/28/2020

The virtual tour now moves to the Russell B. Aitken Gallery of edged weapons, and we're starting with a beauty! ⁣

This sword is believed to have belonged to Sir William Twysden (1566–1628), who was knighted by King James I in 1603, served in Parliament for many years, and was a collector of books and manuscripts. It is one of the finest examples of a silver encrusted English basket-hilted sword of this period.⁣

Check out the last pic to see the piece installed in a newly arranged case devoted to our best English basket hilted swords. The new case also allows us to feature together for the first time an 18th century Scottish Highland targe (shield), generously donated in 1996 in memory of George A. Douglass, and an excellent pair of Scottish pistols, which were owned by Abraham Embury, member of a distinguished New York family in the early 19th century, and donated to the Museum by his descendants in 2000.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #sword #basket #hilt #silver #Engalnd #Scotland #Stuyvesant #targe #Douglass #Embury #pistols⁣ #MetAnywhere

Basket-Hilted Sword. British, 1600–1625. Gift of Alan Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, 1949 (49.163.6) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Between the 1880s and 1905, Tiffany & Co. embellished a series of deluxe handguns for the nation's leading firearms manu...
05/27/2020

Between the 1880s and 1905, Tiffany & Co. embellished a series of deluxe handguns for the nation's leading firearms manufacturers, notably Colt, Winchester, and, most important, Smith & Wesson. The guns were either special orders for Tiffany's well-heeled clientele or commissioned by the manufacturer as show pieces for display in exhibitions such as the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893. ⁣

The Met is fortunate to house the finest public collection Tiffany-decorated firearms, and today for the last stop in the tour of our American gallery we're taking a *very* close look at two of them. ⁣

The first is one of nine revolvers custom-decorated by Tiffany for display at the 1893 Chicago Exposition. Exhibited as an example of Tiffany's most innovative designs and techniques, it is singular in having a grip sheathed in embossed, chased, etched, and enameled sterling silver. The enamel work on the grip, which is distinguished by subtle, sophisticated tonal gradations, is among the finest ever produced by the firm. ⁣

The second is among the earliest firearms decorated by Tiffany known to survive. Its silver grip has a hammered surface popular in domestic silverware of the period. The applied curling salamanders reflect the elegant, whimsical style of Art Nouveau, as well as the Japanesque style pioneered by Tiffany's head designer Edward C. Moore. ⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #salamander #silver #Japaneseque #ArtNouveau #enamel #hammering #SmithandWesson #Tiffany #Tiffany&Co #pistol #1893 #MetAnywhere⁣

Smith and Wesson .38 Caliber Safety Third Model Double-Action Revolver, serial no. 83097, decorated by Tiffany & Co. Springfield, Massachusetts; New York, New York, ca. 1893. Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Bequest, 2013 (2013.903a, b)⁣

Smith and Wesson .38 Caliber Double-Action Revolver, serial no. 70002, decorated by Tiffany & Co. Springfield, Massachusetts; New York, New York, ca. 1883. Gift of Gerald Klaz, M.D., Trustee - The Gerald Klaz Trust, 2003 (2003.546.2) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Time for another Departmental favorite on the virtual tour! ⁣⁣This sword was awarded by the United States Congress to Ge...
05/27/2020

Time for another Departmental favorite on the virtual tour! ⁣

This sword was awarded by the United States Congress to General Wool in 1854 in belated recognition of his pivotal role in the American victory at Buena Vista (February 1847) during the Mexican War. The massive gold hilt incorporates the American eagle as the pommel, an ear of corn for the grip, and a cactus branch entwined with snakes (for Mexico) as the cross-guard. The sword's elegant proportions, novel design, sculptural conception, and superb finish make it an outstanding example of mid-nineteenth-century silversmithing. As the blade is by a Baltimore cutler, Samuel Jackson, the hilt and scabbard may be the work of a Baltimore silversmith not yet identified.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #sword #presentation #Wool #corn #eagle #Baltimore #diamond #gold #ruby #America #MetAnywhere⁣

Congressional Presentation Sword and Scabbard of Major General John E. Wool (1784–1869). Sword cutler: Samuel Jackson (American, Baltimore, active 1833–70). American, probably Baltimore, 1854–55. Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and Mr. and Mrs. Robert G. Goelet Gifts, 2009 (2009.8a–c) @ The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Address

1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY
10028

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Videos

Category

Nearby museums


Other Art Museums in New York

Show All

Comments

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.