The Wallace Collection

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Anton Peffenhauser (c. 1525 - 1603)
Works of Art

Anton Peffenhauser was probably the most important of the Augsburg armourers of the second half of the sixteenth century. He was born in Bavaria to unknown parents but his maternal grandparents appear to have been the painter Anton Rieder and his wife Agatha (died after 1554). He probably served as an apprentice under Desiderius Helmschmid. He became master in the Augsburg Armourers' Guild in 1545 and at about this time married his first wife Regina Meixner. She must have been dead by 1560 when he married his second wife Regina Ertel, by whom he had fourteen children. Seven of his garnitures are recorded in the design book of Jorg Sorg, the earliest of which is dated 1550. Among his many important clients were Stephanus Doria; Jean de Longueval, Baron de Vaux; Don Garcia de Toledo, Marqués de Villafranca, all in 1551; and the Wurttemberg court at Stuttgart in 1566. In 1561 he received the first of several orders from the Archduke Ferdinand II of Tyrol, while the latter was Governor of Bohemia. By 1564 he received the first of several orders from the Emperor himself. From 1571 he received orders from the Bavarian court, including in 1579 the seven garnitures for St George and his six companions.

The three great Augsburg garnitures of Christian I of Saxony, still at Dresden, are all attributed to him, and in 1591 he delivered twelve armours for tournament foot combat for the Elector's use. He died in 1603.

His most spectacular work is a heavily embossed parade armour, possibly made with the assistance of the goldsmith Jorg Sigman, traditionally said to be that of King Sebastian of Portugal (Real Armeria, Madrid, No. A290). It is now thought more likely to be an armour of Philip II of Spain.