The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Target
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy
  • c. 1540
  • Steel, incised and embossed
  • Height: 26 cm
    Width: 25 cm, top
    Width: 20.3 cm, bottom
    Weight: 0.845 kg
  • A319
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • A form of buckler unique to the civilian fencing culture of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was not circular in shape. Rather it resembled a square, or, more commonly as here, an isosceles trapezium, the top edge being slightly wider than the bottom. Like other forms of buckler these quadrilateral bucklers were made both in wood covered in leather and in steel. They appear in a number of the most famous Italian works on fencing, including those of Marozzo and di Grassi, who referred to it as the ‘square target’. Such square shields appear to have been made in a variety of sizes; di Grassi’s square target is described as being comparatively large and heavy, perhaps a descendant of the oblong fighting pavises of the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, while the one depicted by Marozzo, and most of the surviving examples, are quite small and light.