The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parade shield
  • Parade shield
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany or Flanders
  • c. 1570
  • Steel, copper alloy and gold, gilded, embossed and chased
  • Diameter: 63.2 cm
    Weight: 2.98 kg
  • A322
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Parade shield, circular, of steel, gilt overall, slightly convex, the edges turned over on a wire and roped, and bordered with brass-headed rivets for the lining band. The whole surface is embossed and chased with an elaborate composition representing the months of the year. The outer circumference is divided by trees into eleven panels, while the twelfth occupies the centre. January is represented by figures cutting wood, February by stag hunting, March by a seated figure holding a bouquet of flowers, April by sheep-shearing, May by scything hay, June (in the centre of the shield) by the sun in splendour, soldiers, a camp and a city with a landscape background, July by harvesting, August by a sower, September by the crushing of grapes in a vat, October by a man tending swine, November by bacon curing, and December by figures seated at a table before a fire. The houses are shown gabled. The shield has been pierced to secure the enarmes for the arm and hand, but no traces of these remain. The chiselled border suggests a date at the very end of the century.

    The workmanship of this shield is very similar to that of the centre plate of a front arçon also in the Collection (A424). A similar saddle steel is in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (29.171). A cuirass, tassets, arms, and helmet of an armour formerly in the collection of the Prince of Prussia seem also to be of comparable workmanship (Hiltl, 1876 No. 1022, Pls. I and XLV), as are a pair of legs in the Museo Stibbert, Florence (1917-18 Cat., no. 1021).