The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Cheek-piece
  • Filippo Negroli (active between: 1532 - 1551)
  • Francesco Negroli
  • Milan, Italy
  • 1538
  • Medium-carbon steel, hot-worked and air-cooled, blued, etched and gilt
  • Weight: 0.24 kg
  • A207
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Right cheek-piece of a burgonet, of blued steel decorated with lions' masks in the centre, and bands of foliage on the borders, etched and gilt; roped edges; a flat, rosette-headed stud in the centre and a hinge at the top for attachment to the rest of the helmet; there are rivets at the edges to secure the lining strap, part of which remains. These pieces are shaped so as to meet and fasten under the chin with an eye and a buckle (the latter of later date).

    The etching consists of rather lush foliage on a plain sunk ground, all fire-gilt, characteristic of armour of the Negroli school. Thomas & Gamber, Storia di Milano, 1958, p. 760.
    On the advice of H. R. Robinson, Thomas and Gamber (loc. cit.) connected A207 and its mate A206 with the buff in the Royal Armouries which is signed PHĨ E FRÃ DE NEGROLIS.F (the N and E conjoined), and dated MD XXXVIII (Royal Armouries IV.477; Dufty & Reid, 1968, Pl. CXXXV). This was confirmed in 1975 when Robinson and A.V.B. Norman brought the three pieces together and found that they fitted perfectly. R. Lightbrown suggested that the inscription should probably be expanded to 'Philippus et Franciscus de Negrolis fecerunt' or that, very much less probably, Frã might be expanded to Fratres (letter of 7 March 1983). Thomas and Gamber also connected these pieces with the movable peak of a burgonet in the Bargello, Florence (inv. no. M7771), embossed with a grotesque mask like that on the Royal Armouries buffe. This peak was subsequently illustrated by Boccia and Coelho (1967, Pl. 253, p. 330) who supported the suggestion and pointed out that this piece comes from the old Medicean armoury and is therefore likely to have belonged either to Cosimo I dei Medici (born 1519, Grand Duke 1537-74), or, since the Medici inherited the della Rovere-Montefeltro armoury, to Guidobaldo II della Rovere-Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino (born 1513 reigned 1538-74). It is possible that a pair of poleyns from long laminated tassets in the Hermitage Museum, Leningrad, may also be parts of this armour (Lenz, 1908, Pl. XVII, No. 1.296).
    Laking's suggestiothat the buffe might have belonged to the Emperor Charles V and have come from Madrid seems to have been without foundation (Record, IV, p. 145). Boccia and Coelho (loc. cit.) have pointed out that it does not seem to correspond with anything illustrated in the Inventario Illuminado or described in the Relación de Valladolid, the two surviving inventories of the armoury of Charles V.