The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Muzzle
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1564
  • Steel
  • Height: 24.4 cm
    Weight: 0.893 kg
  • Inscription: '1564'
  • A451
  • Reserve Vault 1
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Horse muzzle, of steel, formed of openwork panels fixed to a frame by means of round-headed rivets. The panels are elaborately pierced and chased with ornamental foliage and monsters. The upper, transverse panel is pierced with the double-headed Imperial eagle supported by a griffin and a lion, and below it is the date 1564. Prominently applied in the centre of the lower part is a double-headed and double-tailed lizard worked in the round, the head of the lizard was previously missing but was found and replaced in 1964. The side panels are pierced with a griffin and a lion and foliage. In the circular panel which forms the bottom of the muzzle is pierced an eagle displayed, the single head of which detaches itself and forms a loop. The basket at the back is formed of three pierced, chevron-shaped bars.

    There is a similar muzzle in the German Historical Museum in Berlin (no. 1059). Lizards were frequently employed in the ornamentation of horse-muzzles as a symbolic deterrent to flies. Another comparable muzzle dated 1567, perhaps from the same workshop was in the collection of Frédéric Spitzer (1892 cat., VI, no. 505, illus).