The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parts of an armour
  • Parts of an armour
  • Manner of Lucio Marliani, called Piccinino (1538 - 1607)
  • Milan, Italy
  • c. 1580
  • Iron, embossed, unfinished
  • Weight: 8.56 kg, total weight
  • A52
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This armour is somewhat unusual for having remained in an unfinished state. Undoubtedly begun in about 1580 as a rich commission in the north Italian Mannerist style for some important nobleman, the work only ever progressed as far as the basic forming of the plates and the early stages of embossing and chasing of the relief ornament. Had it been completed, it would have then been gilded, silvered, and false-damascened according to the very lavish standards of the High Mannerist style. It includes such diverse motifs as Roman soldiers, allegorical figures, mythical beasts, grotesque masks, and trophies of arms all contained in or joining strap-work bands. All of these details should have been further emphasised not just in gold and silver but also probably with contrasting blackened areas. Although it is difficult not to yearn to see this armour in its fully-realised splendour, it also represents an extremely rare and fascinating glimpse into the process of making such armours.

    The right pauldron and vambrace are now missing, but they are known to have survived. The lost pieces are documented as extant in 19th- and early 20th-century photographes, which suggest that the pieces may still remain somewhere in Italy.