The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Parade shield
  • Parade shield
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • c. 1560 or 19th century
  • Iron and copper alloy, embossed and chased
  • Diameter: 58.4 cm
    Weight: 3.65 kg
  • A327
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Parade shield or buckler, circular, of steel slightly convex, finely embossed and boldly chased, with a turned-under and roped edge, and a row of brass-headed rivets for the lining band (modern). The subject represented in low relief is the Judgement of Paris, based on the well-known engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi (c. 1480-c. 1530), after Raphael; on the left Paris, seated, offers the apple to Venus, Juno with a peacock is in the act of protesting, Minerva with a turned back holding her robe; Cupid stands at the feet of Venus and a second Cupid, bearing the palm of victory and a laurel wreath, is in the sky above; on the left is Mercury and the flocks on Mount Ida; on the right Mars seated with a third cupid; landscape with orchards and a city in the distance; the foreground strewn with arms and a shield embossed in Medusa's head; across the forground is a stream. The heads of the rivets for the handles on the inner side have been levelled and chased on the outside, and are barely visible. The surface is now bright, but perhaps was originally parcel-gilt, however no trace of gold remains.

    The engraving of The Judgement of Paris by Marc Antonio Raimondi after Raphael is Bartsch, XIV, p.197, no. 245. A shield with this subject, but with a border of 'flowers, birds and insects', was exhibited as no. 41 in the Royal Armoury, Haymarket (n.d. but after 1820). A MS. note in the copy of the catalogue in the Library of the Royal Armouries, which belonged to R. Williams, indicates that it was bought from P. J. de Loutherbourg, the painter, by Gwenapp, for 200 guineas. A shield at Vienna (inv. no. B1015) is a much closer copy of the engraving. A shield with the same subject was lot 2333 at the Stowe sale, 1848, and another (or perhaps the same?) is in the German Historical Museum in Berlin. It retains its matching burgonet decorated on one side with The Judgement of Paris and, on the other with The Rape of Helen after an engraving by Luca Penni (Bartsch, XVI, p. 395, no. 48), was discussed by A. Grosz (Vienna Jahrbuch, XXXVI, 1925, pp. 123-55, figs. 22-8). He attributed it to Lucio Piccinino.