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.
(21)

Operating as usual

This mask has already become one of the signature pieces of The Met’s world-famous collection of arms and armor from Tib...
04/15/2021
War Mask | MetCollects | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This mask has already become one of the signature pieces of The Met’s world-famous collection of arms and armor from Tibet. War masks made of metal (usually iron or copper alloys) and intended specifically as armor existed in many cultures for nearly 2,000 years, from Roman Britain in the 1st century A.D. to Japan up to the end of the Edo period in the late 19th century. They were probably introduced in Tibet by the Mongols in the 14th or 15th century and were used in Central Asia and West Asia until at least the 16th century. While many types of Tibetan dance and ritual masks exist, this promised gift is the only known example of a decorated iron war mask from Tibet.

Learn more in this #MetCollects episode with Arms and Armor curator emeritus Donald J. La Rocca!

War Mask. Tibetan, 14th–16th century. Promised Gift of Steven Kossak, The Kronos Collections, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary.

This episode of MetCollects focuses on an exceptionally rare and enigmatically beautiful war mask that is one of only two known examples from Tibet.

Timeline Photos
04/13/2021

Timeline Photos

Ramadan Mubarak to all who celebrate ✨ ⁣⁣

In honor of the start of #Ramadan, a glimpse of this ever-beautiful mihrab, or prayer niche, on view at The Met. ⁣⁣

One of the earliest and finest examples of mosaic tilework, this 14th-century #mihrab was created by joining a myriad of cut glazed tiles to produce its intricate arabesque and calligraphic designs. ⁣⁣

The niche features Arabic inscriptions throughout that refer to Quranic verses and the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad (hadith), including a reference along the frame to the five pillars of Islam—one of which is Ramadan:⁣

"He [the Prophet], blessings and peace be upon him, said: “Islam is built on five attestations: there is no god but God and Muhammad is the Messenger of God, he established prayer and the giving of alms and the pilgrimage and fasting of [the month of] Ramadan."⁣

Learn more: met.org/3thQpag

🎨 Mihrab (Prayer Niche), dated A.H. 755/ A.D. 1354–55. From Iran, Isfahan. Mosaic of polychrome-glazed cut tiles on stonepaste body; set into mortar.

Armor (Yoroi). Japanese, 18th century. Iron, lacquer, leather, silk. Armor: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935; horns (kuw...
04/12/2021
Armor ( Yoroi ) | Japanese | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Armor (Yoroi). Japanese, 18th century. Iron, lacquer, leather, silk. Armor: Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935; horns (kuwagata): Gift of Bashford Dean, 1914 (36.25.39a–p; 14.100.171b, c).

During the eighteenth century, there was a revival of interest in medieval Japanese culture. As the demand for historical styles of armor began to increase among the wealthy lords, contemporary armorers studied the older forms and techniques in order to duplicate them. This example imitates a yoroi....

“Since the Museum is currently closed a couple days a week, it’s a great opportunity to work on the permanent displays i...
04/08/2021

“Since the Museum is currently closed a couple days a week, it’s a great opportunity to work on the permanent displays in the galleries. In particular, I really wanted to get this Colt revolver back on display, which I had removed for cleaning before the pandemic hit. Since this beautifully engraved and silvered Colt was going back on view, why not improve the display more substantially? Our Model 1855 pocket pistol was already on view, but just on the deck with no mount, and our gorgeous 1860 Army Colt was temporarily in storage. We decided to mount all three together as a group to highlight their engraving. The 1855 pocket pistol needed some conservation (which was great – what a lovely little revolver!) and with the new mounts the entire display was transformed.”⁣

-Ted Hunter, Armorer and Conservator⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #ArmorLab #conservation #mount #Colt #pistol #percussion #engraving⁣

Colt Model 1855 Pocket Percussion Revolver, Serial no. 4460. American, Hartford, Connecticut, 1855. Gift of John E. Parsons, 1957 (57.166.2a)⁣

Colt Model 1862 Police Revolver, Serial no. 9174, retailed by Schuyler, Hartley and Graham. American, Hartford, Connecticut, and New York, New York, 1862. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry D. Berger, 1985 (1985.264a)⁣

Colt Model 1860 Army Percussion Revolver, Serial no. 7569. American, Hartford, Connecticut, 1861. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry D. Berger, 1983 (1983.442a)

We're recalling fondly "The Last Knight" exhibition while reading this Timeline of Art History essay on the Burgundian N...
04/07/2021
Burgundian Netherlands: Court Life and Patronage | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

We're recalling fondly "The Last Knight" exhibition while reading this Timeline of Art History essay on the Burgundian Netherlands. Follow the link to read along.

Already one of Europe’s richest centers of cloth production and an important trade hub, the Netherlands under Burgundian rule attracted and inspired some of the most talented artists of the Renaissance period.

Measuring only 18 ½ inches (49.9 cm) in length, this tiny sword is notable for the precious materials, exquisite executi...
04/05/2021

Measuring only 18 ½ inches (49.9 cm) in length, this tiny sword is notable for the precious materials, exquisite execution, and fashionable rococo style of its hilt. The burnished blade is plain except for an etched inscription on Latin on one side that provides us with important information for the history of the weapon. From this we learn that it formed part of the ceremonial Hungarian-style costume worn by six-year-old Archduke Carl (1745–1761), second son of Empress Maria Theresa (ruled 1740–80), when he accompanied his mother to a political summit meeting at Pressburg, Hungary (now Bratislava, Slovakia) in 1751. ⁣

The Kingdom of Hungary was part of the Holy Roman Empire from 1526 to 1818 and Pressburg was the capital and seat of government from 1536. It was there, in St. Martin’s Cathedral, that Maria Theresa was crowned queen in 1740. Her return to Pressburg with her family in 1751 to meet with the parliament was a state occasion, one that required appropriate dress. The empress’s three sons, Archduke Joseph (1741–1790), age ten, heir to the throne, and his younger brothers, Archdukes Carl Joseph, age six, and Leopold (1747–1792), age four, wore traditional Hungarian uniforms, including swords of similar type, their hilts with green bloodstone grips fitted with gold mounts. The blades of the weapons worn by the two older boys were later inscribed to record the historic circumstances of their use. ⁣

The saber, a Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken, is on display 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 #sword #Bratislava #saber #bloodstone #Hungary⁣ #Austria

Saber of Archduke Carl Joseph of Austria (1745–1761) as a Boy. Austrian, probably Vienna, dated 1751. Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken

This saber and matching scabbard are distinguished by a unique combination of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese features, ...
04/03/2021
Saber and Scabbard | Sino-Tibetan | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This saber and matching scabbard are distinguished by a unique combination of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese features, executed with great skill and harmoniously united in a single object. Most important is the distinctively pattern welded blade, a technique which involves purposely forging together iron and steel of different properties to produce particular patterns that are visible throughout the surface of the finished blade. In this example, the center of the blade has a classic Tibetan hairpin pattern, named for the series of nested lines that form the body of the blade. The edge of the blade has a tooth-like pattern, called tiger teeth or horse teeth and is characteristic of Chinese and Mongolian blade forging techniques. The weight, shape, and form of the blade, particularly the distinctive tip, are Mongolian in influence. These features do not appear to be combined in this way on any other blade.

Saber and Scabbard. Sino-Tibetan, 17th–18th century. Purchase, Laird R. Landmann Gift, 2017 (2017.331a–c).

This saber and matching scabbard are distinguished by a unique combination of Tibetan, Mongolian, and Chinese features, executed with great skill and harmoniously united in a single object. Most important is the distinctively pattern welded blade, a technique which involves purposely forging togethe...

As part of The Met's 150th anniversary, Met Stories is a new video series and year-long social media initiative that sha...
04/02/2021
Met Stories | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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.

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.

With the establishment of a gunmakers’ guild in Vienna in 1661 and the subsequent flowering of that craft in the late se...
03/31/2021

With the establishment of a gunmakers’ guild in Vienna in 1661 and the subsequent flowering of that craft in the late seventeenth century, the court of the Holy Roman Emperors acquired a highly skilled local source for their sporting arms. By the early eighteenth century Viennese gunmakers had developed a distinctive and colorful style characterized by richly blued and gilt barrels, brightly polished locks engraved with Baroque scrollwork, and carved walnut stocks mounted in gilt bronze or engraved silver.⁣

Distinguished by their exquisite execution, fine condition, and princely provenance, these deluxe pistols exemplify the Viennese school at its best. Georg Keiser, the city’s pre-eminent master, made them about 1720 for a member of the princely house of Liechtenstein, whose heraldic arms are engraved on the silver escutcheon on the back of the grip. ⁣

Born in the Bohemian town of Eger (now Cheb in the Czech Republic) in 1647, Keiser is notable in the annals of arms making not only for the quality of his work but also for his longevity. On a flintlock hunting gun in the Princely Collections of Liechtenstein in Vaduz the venerable master inscribed his age, "93 years old," attesting to his continued work into old age.⁣

The holdings of our Department contain one other comparable example of Viennese gunmaking, a pair of well-made, but otherwise plain brass-mounted flintlock pistols, also by Keiser, dating to about 1710 (acc. no. 28.100.12, .13). They make an instructive contrast to this deluxe pair, which is a Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary.⁣

The pistols are on display 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 #pistols #Vienna #flintlock #Keiser #Liechtenstein⁣

Pair of Flintlock Holster Pistols by Georg Keiser (Austrian, Eger 1647–ca. 1740 Vienna). Austrian, Vienna, ca. 1720. Russell Barnett Aitken and Irene Roosevelt Aitken Collection, Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken

Take a virtual tour of our exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor." Chec...
03/30/2021

Take a virtual tour of our exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor." Check out this album of photos showing the contents of each case, and look out for posts featuring individual objects.

For thousands of years and in cultures around the world, people have valued finely crafted armor and weapons for reasons that transcend utility, treasuring them for qualities such as innovative design, stunning decoration, use of precious materials, and impressive workmanship. Spanning fifteen hundred years, from sixt-century Byzantium to early twentieth-century America, this exhibition features extraordinary works made in the service of monarchs, the nobility, and other eminent patrons—all created by skilled artists or fabricated to showcase the latest technical innovations of the era.

These exquisite pieces of armor, ornate swords, and luxurious firearms were donated to The Met in celebration of the Museum’s 150th anniversary. With this exhibition of their gifts, we celebrate the unfailing generosity and support of the following individuals and foundations: Anne Brockinton Lee and The Robert M. Lee Foundation; Irene Roosevelt Aitken, the Russell B. Aitken and Irene R. Aitken Collection; Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney; Ronald S. Lauder; Steven Kossak and The Kronos Collections; Dr. Kenneth Lam and Dr. Vivian Chui; and Edward LaPuma.

Photos from Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's post
03/30/2021

Photos from Department of Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's post

Despite its heavy surface patina, this spearhead is very similar to another example in The Met's collection (acc. no. 20...
03/27/2021
Spearhead (明/清 矛頭) | Chinese | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Despite its heavy surface patina, this spearhead is very similar to another example in The Met's collection (acc. no. 2000.206a, b) for the form of its blade and the presence of a realistic braided ring rendered in chiseled steel (here at the midpoint, rather than the base of the socket). At its base there is a collar of stylized lotus petals and a ring of the trefoil-like ruyi motif. The surface above this is damascened in gold with simplified designs of flaming pearls and mountains and waves.

Spearhead (明/清 矛頭). Chinese, 17th–18th century. Steel, gold, L. 14 7/8 in. (37.8 cm). Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2001 (2001.581).

Despite its heavy surface patina, this spearhead is very similar to the adjacent example in for the form of its blade and the presence of a realistic braided ring rendered in chiseled steel (here at the midpoint, rather than the base of the socket). At its base there is a collar of stylized lotus pe...

03/26/2021
Meet Again at The Met

Come join us! Meet again at The Met.

For more than one hundred and fifty years, The Met has invited visitors to explore art and culture from around the world—even through wars, financial crises,...

The materials and techniques used to decorate arms and armor from Tibet cover a broad range. The primary structural mate...
03/25/2021
The Decoration of Tibetan Arms and Armor | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The materials and techniques used to decorate arms and armor from Tibet cover a broad range. The primary structural materials are iron and leather, frequently used in combination with gold, silver, copper alloys, and wood, and often incorporating turquoise, coral, yak hair, and various textiles. The techniques most often employed to decorate objects made principally of iron include damascening, inlay, engraving with gold and silver, pierced work, chiseling, and embossing.

Learn more about the decoration of Tibetan arms and armor in this Timeline essay by emeritus curator Donald J. La Rocca.

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 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
03/24/2021

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

"Our hearts are heavy with the news of yesterday's events in Atlanta during a time of increasing attacks against the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander communities. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Core to The Met's mission is not only sharing our collection that includes diverse holdings of artworks from cultures across Asia, but also providing art as an entry point for education, cultural conversation, and global understanding. ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
These reprehensible acts are counter to all the Museum stands for, and we stand in solidarity with the AAPI community—here in New York, at The Met, among our staff and their families, and around the country." #StopAAPIHate⁣

Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO ⁣
Max Hollein, Marina Kellen French Director

This is one of the best-preserved examples of a helmet type believed to have been made in Byzantium for regional militar...
03/23/2021

This is one of the best-preserved examples of a helmet type believed to have been made in Byzantium for regional military leaders employed by or closely allied with the Byzantine Empire. Its magnificence rests not solely on the gilding of the entire surface, but also on the rich program of imagery adorning every element. The bowl features human figures, animals, and various religious symbols. For example, the birds pecking grapes, seen on the helmet’s rim, are generally thought to represent the longing of Christians for Christ. In its original state a helmet like this would have typically included cheekpieces and a nape defense.⁣

Such helmets have been discovered in France, Germany, Italy, the Balkans, and various other parts of Europe, as well as, in one instance, Libya, typically as grave goods in the tombs of Ostrogothic and other Germanic chieftains. Closely related to one another in construction and ornamentation, the forty-four complete and fragmentary examples of the type that have been recorded so far appear to have all been made in Byzantine workshops from the mid-fifth century through the end of the sixth century. Although now missing the cheekpieces and nape defense, this helmet ranks among the finest and best preserved of the group. It is especially noteworthy for the Christian symbolism of its decoration and it is a collection-transforming addition to the Museum’s holdings, which include a plainer and more damaged variant that was acquired in 1942 (Gift of Stephen V. Grancsay, 1942, acc. no. 42.50.1).⁣

The helmet, a Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, is on display in our latest exhibition, Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor. Tap the link in comments to discover more on the exhibition's website. ⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #MetAnywhere #spangenhelm #helmet #armor #Byzantine #Byzantium #gold⁣

Helmet (Spangenhelm). Byzantine, 6th century. Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2020

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


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.