The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Buckler
  • Buckler
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy or France
  • c. 1550 - c. 1560
  • Steel, iron, wood, leather and copper alloy
  • Diameter: 39.5 cm
    Weight: 2.075 kg
  • A317
  • European Armoury I
Commentary
History
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Circular buckler, of steel. Around the border is applied a band with the inner edge flanged to catch an adversary's weapon; in the centre is applied a round boss with flattened face, fixed in place by rivets set in a series of cusps; around this are applied iron crescents and convex circles alternately, one of the latter being furnished with a hook for suspension of a sword and lantern; on the inside is the grip (the wood appears to be original), which fits into sockets on either side of the boss. The grip is covered with leather and decorated with rosette-headed nails of brass.

    Giacomo di Grassi, in his 'Ragione di adoprar sicuramente I' arme' (Venice 1570, p. 59) calls this 'il brochiero', which 'I. G. gentleman', in the English 'Giacomo di Grassi his true arte of defence' (London 1594), translates as 'Buckler' (p. 13v).
    A similar buckler with applied crescents and circles was in the Zschille Collection (Zschille & Forrer, 1894, Pl. XIX, No. 89; and sold, 1997, lot 35 bought by Böhler of Munich); one was in the Consul Leiden sale, Cologne, 1934, lot 104, and another in the Pitt- Rivers Collection, sold Christie's 1931.
    Another comparable target but with groups of three interlaced crescents in place of the single crescents of A317, was sold at Sotheby's, 18 March 1975, lot 91, repr. in cat. Another comparable target is in the Hungarian National Museum (Kalmár, 1971, p. 325, Fig. 128). A similar target appears in 'The Painter with Death', a self-portrait by Gaspard Masery, dated 1559 (Chambéry, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Cat., No. 379). Masery was a local artist of Chambéry in Savoy, about whom very little is known. Another is illustrated in The Resurrection by Cecco del Caravaggio in the Art Institute of Chicago of about 1610 (34.390).