The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Streiftartsche
  • Kaspar Rieder (active between: 1452 - 1498)
  • Innsbruck, Germany
  • c. 1490
  • Steel and leather, fluted
  • Weight: 2.04 kg
  • Armourer's mark: Four miniscule letters in an oblong cartellino, which may possibly be read as CASP
  • A300
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • 'Streiftartsche' for one of the German 'Rennen' class of jousts. Broad, slightly convex, roughly circular in outline and shaped to cover the thigh when the wearer was mounted; the upper edge is concave, and is turned outwards to form a stop-rib of triangular section. There is a slight vertical ridge separating the ornament into two symmetrical panels, each embossed with radiating curved flutings within a sunk border. Round the border are round-headed rivets for the leather lining which still remains; two buckles for attachment. Stamped near the top with an armourer's mark in the form of four minuscule letters in an oblong cartellino, which may possibly be read as CAS P.

    Armour stamped with the first four letters of the name of Caspar Riederer of Innsbruck are at Churburg: Cat. Nos. 68 (shaffron), 49 (Gothic gauntlets); at Vienna (jousting armour; B66, 180, 172 and 173); in the Royal Armouries (breast and back; III.1293-4 (Dufty & Reid, 1968, Pl. CXI); on a war-hat in the Military History Museum at Brussels; and a sallet now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, formerly at Churburg (42.50.32; see the exhibition catalogue Innsbrucker Plattnerkunst, 1954, pp. 53-4). Compare the similar form of signature on Nos. 41 and 53. Riederer's work is, as the gauntlets at Churburg show, of outstanding quality.

    Caspar Rieder, or Riederer, who worked at Muhlau, Innsbruck, was made a master-craftsmen in 1467, and supplied armour to the Archduke Sigismund of Tyrol. In 1472, along with three others, he made an armour for Alfonso V, King of Naples, and in 1473 was working in conjunction with Hans Vetterlein, another Innsbruck armourer. In 1496 he sent an armour to the Emperor Maximilian I, who was in the field at Glurns, and in 1498 the Emperor gave him a robe of honour (see Exhibition of Innsbruck Armour, Innsbruck, 1954, Nos. 10-14).

    Kaspar Rieder is recorded from 1452 when he made an armour for Archduke Sigmund of Tyrol. From 1467 to 1492 he was Harnischmeister to the Archduke. He made armour for the King of Naples in 1472; for Burkhart von Knörigen and Rudolf Horb in 1473, in co-operation with Hans Veterlein; for Sigmund von Welsperg in 1478; and for the Emperor Maximilian I in 1496. He is last recorded in 1498.

    The English name for these shield-like objects which were hung over the saddle bow to protect the rider's thighs is not known, if one ever existed. They were not in fact used for jousts at the tilt but rather in the field and for the Rennen, a course in the open field with relatively sharp lances, probably practised only in the German lands. Their use in the field is illustrated in the woodcuts of the edition of Geoffroy de la Tour-Landry, Der Ritter nom Turn, Basel, 1493, and in a painting The family tree of the Babenbergers, before 1493, in the monastery of Klosterneuburg near Vienna.