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.

Operating as usual

Join us for The Met’s first-ever block party! Connect with artists and community partners from across the five boroughs ...
09/16/2021
MetFest

Join us for The Met’s first-ever block party!

Connect with artists and community partners from across the five boroughs during a daylong celebration on the iconic front steps and David H. Koch Plaza and in the galleries. Come together with live music, performances, art-making activities, behind-the-scenes tours, carnival stilt walkers, a citywide Double Dutch showcase, and more. MetFest honors the central role of art in our lives and highlights the resilience of New York City and its people.

Drop by for an hour, or spend the whole day with us—in person or online. Virtual programs are available to audiences near and far.

Free for all ages and abilities. Schedules and select programs are available in multiple languages.

Click the link for more info, registration, and visitor health and safety guidelines.

The Met is hosting its first-ever block party on Saturday, October 2!

Light-sensitive objects, such as textiles, on display in our galleries are regularly rotated in order to protect their f...
09/16/2021

Light-sensitive objects, such as textiles, on display in our galleries are regularly rotated in order to protect their fragile materials.⁣

Recently the team exchanged the Surcoat (Jinbaori) on view in Gallery 377, which also necessitated changing out the mount.⁣

A high-ranking samurai would have worn a jinbaori like this over his armor for protection against the elements and as a display of his status and his mon (family crest). The mon on the back of the example now on display, three oak leaves within a circle, belongs to the Makino family, who were daimyo (feudal lords) of Tanabe (modern day Kyoto Prefecture). The elaborate lining, high quality of the materials and fine workmanship distinguish it as one of the finest of its period.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #armor #jinbaori #samurai⁣

Surcoat (Jinbaori). Japanese, probably 18th century. Wool, silk, metallic yarns, glass. Gift of Dr. George M. Lefferts, 1910 (10.187.72)⁣

Surcoat (Jinbaori). Japanese, 17th century. Silk, felt, metallic thread, wood, lacquer. Purchase, Charles and Ellen Baber Gift, 2006 (2006.95)

Of the many talented American gunsmiths working in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, during what is ofte...
09/14/2021
Attributed to Jacob K***z | American Percussion Longrifle Converted to a Target Rifle | stock and fittings, American, Philadelphia; lock, British, London; barrel, Scottish, Edinburgh | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Of the many talented American gunsmiths working in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, during what is often called the golden age of the Kentucky rifle, Jacob K***z (1780–1876) is arguably the most versatile, inventive, and artistically accomplished.

Although the percussion rifle was later modified at least once in the UK for Baron Vernon, the architecture of its curly maple stock, and its elaborate and skillfully engraved brass and silver fittings nevertheless represent some of K***z’s finest known work from his long tenure in Philadelphia.

Click to learn more about this American longrifle, on view in our special exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor" through February 21, 2022.

Attributed to Jacob K***z (American, Allentown, Pennsylvania 1780–1876 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania); lock maker, John Manton & Son (British, London 1815–1878); barrelsmith, Alexander Henry (British (born Scotland), Edinburgh 1818–1894). American Percussion Longrifle Converted to a Target Rifle, stock and fittings, ca. 1830–40; lock, ca. 1830–40; barrel, 1862. Wood (maple), steel, brass, platinum, silver, horn, bone, L. 54 3/4 in. (139.1 cm); barrel L. 38 5/8 in. (98.1 cm); Cal. .40 in. (10 mm). Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2020.

Signature: Engraved on the lock: JN MANTON & SON PATENT; on the top flat of the barrel: ALEXR HENRY 8 SOUTH ST. ANDREW ST. ENDIBURGH. / PATENT NO 389 GUAGE 385.Inscription: Engraved on a silver escutcheon or thumb plate inlaid at the top of the wrist of th...

The lavish use of silver on weapons made for the court of the prince-electors of Saxony at Dresden reflected the source ...
09/09/2021
Rapier | German, Dresden | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The lavish use of silver on weapons made for the court of the prince-electors of Saxony at Dresden reflected the source of their wealth, which was based on silver mines in the Erzgebirge (ore mountains) in Saxony.

Click to learn more about this rapier, on view in our special exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor" through February 21, 2022.

Rapier. German, Dresden, ca. 1575–1600. Steel, iron, silver, copper alloy, wood, L. 47 7/8 in. (121.6 cm); L. of blade 42 in. (106.7 cm). Promised Gift of Laird Landmann and Kathleen Kinney, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2020.

In accordance with New York City mandate, all visitors age 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks are required for all visitors.

We're continuing to share objects on view in our special exhibition, "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gift...
09/07/2021
Tula Arms Factory | Pair of Flintlock Revolvers | Russian, Tula | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

We're continuing to share objects on view in our special exhibition, "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor" on view through February 21, 2022.

Multi-shot fi****ms with revolving cylinders appeared in Europe around 1600, more than two centuries before Samuel C**t invented his famous revolver. The present pistols are an exceptionally rare late eighteenth-century example of revolving flintlock pistols made in the imperial Russian Arms Factory at Tula.

Click to read more and plan a visit to our galleries!

Tula Arms Factory (Russian, Tula, 1712–Present). Pair of Flintlock Revolvers, ca. 1790. Steel, wood (walnut), copper alloy, gold, silver, horn, L. of each 21 1/2 in. (54.6 cm); L. of each barrel 10 1/8 in. (25.8 cm); Cal. of each .5 in. (13 mm). Russell Barnett Aitken and Irene Roosevelt Aitken Collection, Promised Gift of Irene Roosevelt Aitken, in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary.

In accordance with New York City mandate, all visitors age 12 and older must be vaccinated against COVID-19. Masks are required for all visitors.

This dagger-pistol, remarkable for its delicately chiseled and engraved steel mounts, elegant wire inlay, gracefully mod...
09/03/2021
Probably by Matteo Cecchi, called Acquafresca | Combination Flintlock Pistol and Concealed Dagger | Italian, Bargi | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

This dagger-pistol, remarkable for its delicately chiseled and engraved steel mounts, elegant wire inlay, gracefully modeled stock, and novel design in which the blade is concealed within the stock, counts among the finest Italian combination weapons of the late seventeenth century. It was made by Matteo Cecchi, called Acquafresca (1651–1738) ca. 1690, the most gifted member of the famed Acquafresca family of gunmakers.

Click to learn more, and visit our exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor" to see it on view!

Probably by Matteo Cecchi, called Acquafresca (Italian, Bargi, 1651–1738). Combination flintlock pistol and concealed dagger, ca. 1690. Steel, silver, wood (walnut). Gift of The Robert M. Lee Foundation, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary, 2018 (2018.856.10a, b).

Inscription: Engraved on the top flat of the barrel: LAZARO; on the tang: 3; on the lock, below the pan: ACQVA FRESCA.Marking: Stamped on the barrel, four times: [six-pointed star]

We've been pleased to see our galleries hosting more visitors these summer months. If you haven't recently made a trip t...
09/01/2021
Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor

We've been pleased to see our galleries hosting more visitors these summer months.

If you haven't recently made a trip to The Met to see our special exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor," there's still time. Visit gallery 380, where the exhibition is on view through February 21, 2022!

Spanning fifteen hundred years, from sixth century Byzantium to early twentieth-century America, Emperors, Artists, and Inventors 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 lates...

Turn turn turn...⁣⁣Armorer and Conservator Ted Hunter carefully turns the pages of our Nuremberg tournament book and the...
08/30/2021

Turn turn turn...⁣

Armorer and Conservator Ted Hunter carefully turns the pages of our Nuremberg tournament book and then Louis D. Nimschke's workbook of engraved fi****ms designs. The pages of these light-sensitive works on view in our galleries are regularly turned in order to preserve their pigments and so that we can share more of their contents with visitors. Come see the new pages on view in Gallery 373 and in our special exhibition "Emperors, Artists & Inventors: Transformative Gifts of Fine Arms and Armor" in Gallery 380.⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #conservation #manuscript #engraving #Nuremberg #tournament #Nimschke⁣

Album of Tournaments and Parades in Nuremberg. German, Nuremberg, late 16th–mid-17th century. Rogers Fund, 1922 (22.229)⁣

Workbook Recording the Engraved Fi****ms Ornament of Louis D. Nimschke (1832–1904). American and European, ca. 1850–1900. Gift of the Robert M. Lee Foundation in celebration of the Museum's 150th Anniversary, 2018 (2018.856.19)

The degree of ornamentation and the range of symbols found on Tibetan arms and armor can vary considerably, but generall...
08/26/2021
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. While these motifs can have deep religious or iconographic significance, on secular objects they usually serve simply as protective and auspicious symbols, and as signs of Buddhist piety.

Learn more about the decoration of Tibetan arms and armor in this Timeline of Art History 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.

Looking for reading materials? Check out Met Publications to find downloadable texts, historic catalogues, and recent pu...
08/24/2021
"A Book of Tournaments and Parades from Nuremberg": Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 45 (2010) | MetPublications | The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Looking for reading materials? Check out Met Publications to find downloadable texts, historic catalogues, and recent publications from the Department of Arms and Armor.

The link below provides access to a 2010 Met Journal article "A Book of Tournaments and Parades from Nuremberg" by former Arms and Armor curators Dirk Breiding and Helmut Nickel.

MetPublications is a portal to the Met's comprehensive publishing program featuring over five decades of Met books, Journals, Bulletins, and online publications on art history available to read, download and/or search for free.

The ox-headed mace is associated with the heroes of the Shahnama (Book of Kings), the poet Firdausi’s epic of pre-Islami...
08/23/2021

The ox-headed mace is associated with the heroes of the Shahnama (Book of Kings), the poet Firdausi’s epic of pre-Islamic Iran completed in A.D. 1010. The mace reproduces the hero Bahram Gur’s weapon made in memory of the cow that nursed him. An emblem of power and good, it was inherited by other heroes in the epic, notably Feridun and Rustam. This example is representative of the Qajar revival of ancient Iranian imagery. It bears the false signature of a legendary smith, Haji 'Abbas, and the equally spurious date A.H. 951 (A.D. 1544–45).⁣

#MetArmsandArmor #TheMet #ArmsandArmor #Iran #Qajar #Shahnama #Mace #Ox⁣

Mace. Iranian, 19th century. Steel, gold, L. 32 1/2 in. (82.6 cm); Wt. 1 lb. 15 oz. (879 g); head: 4 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. (12 x 14.5 cm). Bequest of George C. Stone, 1935 (36.25.1882)

In Met Stories episode 4, Ariun Sanjaajamts, founder of the New York Mongolian Cultural Council, unexpectedly discovers ...
08/20/2021
Jenita Pettway and Ariun Sanjaajamts | Connection | Met Stories Ep 4

In Met Stories episode 4, Ariun Sanjaajamts, founder of the New York Mongolian Cultural Council, unexpectedly discovers her Mongolian heritage and a new place to share it, and Jenita Pettway, Met software quality assurance specialist, connects her everyday experience as a Black woman to the powerful words in a work by Glenn Ligon. Click to watch!

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.

Watch Episode 4, in which Jenita Pettway, Met software quality assurance specialist, connects her everyday experience as a Black woman to the powerful words ...

View curator emeritus Donald J. La Rocca's lecture "Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department, 190...
08/18/2021
Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department, 1904--1929

View curator emeritus Donald J. La Rocca's lecture "Bashford Dean and the Creation of the Arms and Armor Department, 1904–1929" on YouTube.

As part of the Arms & Arms at the Metropolitan Museum: A Centennial Celebration Sunday at the Met, Donald J. La Rocca explains the founding and history of t...

Looking back to the arrival of the Tournament Tapestry of Frederic the Wise on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Val...
08/12/2021
Tournament Tapestry of Frederic the Wise arrives for The Last Knight Exhibition

Looking back to the arrival of the Tournament Tapestry of Frederic the Wise on loan from the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes, for "The Last Knight" exhibition. Check out this short video featuring The Met's excellent team of riggers in action!

Tournament Tapestry of Frederic the Wise, ca. 1494–98. South Netherlandish (probably Brussels). Silk, silver, and gold threads, 16 ft. 3 11/16 in. × 18 ft. 11 15/16 in. (497 × 579 cm). Musée des Beaux-Arts de Valenciennes, France (O.A.87.19).

Sometimes the best and only possible way to bring artwork into the building is the old-fashioned way—through the front doors and up the stairs to the gallery. Come see this beautiful tapestry in the exhibition The Last Knight: The Art, Armor, and Ambition of Maximilian I, on view at The Met Fifth...

Did you know there are tons of posts for the whole family on the #MetKids blog? Check out this entry on knightly tournam...
08/10/2021
Unhorse Your Foe! Knightly Tournament Games from Medieval Europe

Did you know there are tons of posts for the whole family on the #MetKids blog? Check out this entry on knightly tournament games from Medieval Europe.

#MetKids introduces four different types of Medieval game– Joust of War, Joust of Peace, Foot Combat, and Free Tournament.

The Kamakura period was marked by a gradual shift in power from the nobility to landowning military men in the provinces...
08/05/2021
Kamakura and Nanbokucho Periods (1185–1392) | Essay | The Metropolitan Museum of Art | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

The Kamakura period was marked by a gradual shift in power from the nobility to landowning military men in the provinces. This era was a time of dramatic transformation in the politics, society, and culture of Japan.

Learn more about the Kamakura and Nanbokucho Periods (1185–1392) in this Timeline of Art History essay.

The Kamakura and Nanbokucho eras were remarkable for the shift that occurred in the Japanese aesthetic. The highly refined sensibilities of the superceded aristocracy did not interest the new patrons.

What’s in a face? Check out the latest Met Perspectives—link in comments—for quick curatorial takes on this question fea...
08/04/2021

What’s in a face? Check out the latest Met Perspectives—link in comments—for quick curatorial takes on this question featuring these two masterworks, and other objects from throughout the museum.⁣
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#MetArmsandArmor #ArmsandArmor #TheMet #portrait #mask #pistols #Jikokuten #Ferdinand #Karoline⁣⁣
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Pair of flintlock pistols made for Ferdinand IV, King of Naples and Sicily (1751–1825), ca. 1768. Italian, Naples. Royal Arms Manufactory at Torre Annunziata (Italian, Naples, established 1757); Gunsmith: Michele Battista (Spanish, active in Naples, Italy, recorded about 1760–90); Barrelsmith: Emanuel Esteva (Spanish, active in Naples, Italy, recorded about 1768–73). Gift of Henry Walters, 1926 (26.259.5, .6) ⁣⁣
⁣⁣
Mask. Japanese, 1745. Inscribed by Myōchin Muneakira (Japanese, 1673–1745). Rogers Fund, 1919 (19.115.2)

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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.