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, possibly Milan
  • c. 1570 - c. 1575
  • Steel and gold, etched and gilded
  • Diameter: 56.5 cm
    Weight: 3.59 kg
  • A335
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Shield or target, circular, slightly convex, with flat border, the edge turned under, roped, and bordered with steel-headed rivets for the lining band; small spike of pentagonal section; the enarmes are secured by rivets with four-sided heads, probably modern (compare to those on A330). The surface is etched with five radiating bands containing interlaced strapwork on a granulated ground, gilt; the bands bordered with guilloche, and sprigged. In the intervening surfaces of bright steel (formerly blued) are oval cartouches containing emblematical figures of Justice, Truth, and Victory, Fortessa or Fortitude, and Temperance. The border is etched with interlacing and knotted strapwork like the bands. The lining band is modern.

    Although the decoration of this shield vaguely resembles that of certain Italian jousting armour parts in the Wallace Collection (A59), it certainly does not belong to that same garniture. What are almost certainly the close-helmet for the field and the backplate of the garniture to which A335 belongs are in the Museo Civico L. Marzoli, Brescia (inv. nos. 304 and 302; Rossi and Carpegna, 1969, nos. 103 and 43 respectively). The armour of Vespasiano Gonzaga at Vienna (inv. no. A1209), c. 1570-5, is very similarly decorated, while decoration of comparable type is also shown in the portrait of Francesco Maria II della Rovere, Duke of Urbino, painted by Federico Barocci about 1574, now in the Uffizi, Florence (Boccia and Coelho, 1967, fig. 376). A335 therefore probably also belongs to this period. A lower cannon of the arm, apparently from this armour of Francesco Maria II, is in the Museo Bardini, Florence.