The Cleveland Museum of Art

Medieval & Armor Court

Weapon

Halberd
Germany (?), early 16th Century
Medium: steel, quatrefoil piercing; wood haft (rectangular with planed corners)
Measurements: Overall: 217.4cm, Blade: 21.9cm x 30.5cm
Date: c. 1500-1525
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1561
Location: Armor Court
Halberd
Switzerland, late 15th Century
Medium: steel; wood haft (rectangular with planed corners)
Measurements: Overall: 205.7cm, Blade: 20.3cm x 41.9cm
Date: c. 1480-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1556
Location: Armor Court
Bill
Italy, 15th Century
Medium: steel, wood
Measurements: Overall: 184.8cm, Blade: 11.4cm x 77.5cm
Date: c. 1480
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1835
Location: Armor Court
spacer
This weapon known as the "bill" was developed from an agricultural tool. Used throughout Western Europe, it was particularly popular in Italy and England where it served as an equivalent to the Central European halberd.
Battle Axe
Scandinavia (?), 15th century
Medium: Steel and wood
Measurements: Overall: 93.3cm, Blade: 18.7cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1601
Location: Armor Court
Sword
European (unassigned), 15th Century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 103.5cm, Quillions: 19.1cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1919.69
Location: Armor Court
Hand-and-a-Half Sword
South Germany, early 16th Century
Medium: steel, wood, leather; quillions and spirally fluted pommel of blackened steel
Measurements: Overall: 117.5cm, Blade: 90.2cm, Quillions: 26.4cm, Grip: 21.cm
Date: c. 1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1921.1253
Location: Armor Court

Armor

War Hat (Kettle Hat)
Italy, 15th Century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 30.3cm x 25.9cm x 17.5cm
Date: c. 1460
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1919
Location: Armor Court
spacer
Open helmets like this one were used by medieval infantries. The helmet weighs 12-1/2 pounds. This unusual weight was required for siege purposes--such helmets were worn by the men who attempted to scale the walls of an armed town. The rivet holes along the ridge were for the attachment of the liner.
War Hat (or Kettle Hat)
workshop of Antonio Missaglia (Italian, 1416/17 - 1495/96)
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 36.cm x 22.cm x 26.6cm
Date: c. 1475-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1565
Location: Armor Court
Gothic Bevor
Spain (Hispano-Flemish), 15th Century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 27.4cm x 16.3cm
Date: c. 1480
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1920
Location: Armor Court
spacer
This element was intended to protect the chin and upper throat. It normally supplemented an open helmet like the sallet.
Brayette
European, 15th century
Medium: riveted steel rings; strongly reinforced
Measurements: Diameter: 1.cm, Overall: 47.7cm x 31.8cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1574
Location: Not on display
Gothic Breastplate (lower plate surmounted with fleur-de-lys)
South Germany or Austria, Innsbruck, late 15th century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 53.2cm x 35.21cm x 16.3cm
Date: c. 1475-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1720
Location: Armor Court
spacer
This elegantly constructed breastplate consists of two primary plates of steel fastened at center by a rivet. The lower plate is embellished with a border of embossed flutes which converge upwards and terminate in a fleur-de-lys. The pair of rivet holes in the upper right breast were to accommodate a lance rest, now lost.
Gothic Backplate
Germany, late 15th Century
Medium: steel, modern leather straps
Measurements: Overall: 44.5cm x 34.5cm x 16.5cm
Date: c. 1475-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1613
Location: Armor Court
Gothic Breastplate and Taces
North Italy, late 15th Century
Medium: steel with brass rosette rivets
Measurements: Overall: 41.cm x 31.7cm x 14.cm
Date: c. 1475-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1919.63
Location: Armor Court
Gothic Breastplate
South Germany or Austria, 15th Century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 50.5cm x 35.8cm x 15.8cm
Date: c. 1485
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.29
Location: Armor Court
spacer
Individual armor elements, like this breastplate, were shaped in ways that would make their surfaces as deflecting as possible. The contours of this breastplate, along with the pronounced vertical ridge down its center, were for precisely this purpose.
Gothic Breastplate (with Lance Rest Mount)
Italy, late 15th Century
Medium: steel
Measurements: Overall: 45.cm x 35.2cm
Date: c. 1490-1500
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1566
Location: Armor Court
Brigandine (front panel)
Italy (?), early 16th Century
Medium: linen, yellow velvet; steel plates and brass rivets
Measurements: Overall: 56.5cm x 47.6cm
Date: c. 1500-1525
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1921.1250
Location: Armor Court
spacer
The brigandine is a light, vestlike body defense popular with both knights and infantry from the 1400s through about 1550. It is constructed of multiple small plates attached to a cloth covering. Finer examples, like this one, are faced in velvet or fabric made of gold thread. The lightweight brigandine provided pro-tection from the weather, and was extremely flexible.
Collar
European, 15th century
Medium: riveted steel rings
Measurements: Diameter: 0.5cm, Overall: 61.5cm x 25.7cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1584
Location: Armor Court
Hauberk
European, 15th century
Medium: riveted steel rings
Measurements: Overall: 121.3cm x 85.7cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1543
Location: Armor Court
Hauberk
European, 15th century
Medium: fine steel rings; leather collar
Measurements: Overall: 124.5cm x 127.cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1567
Location: Not on display
Hauberk
European, 15th century
Medium: steel and brass rings
Measurements: Diameter: 0.55cm, Overall: 52.1cm x 78.2cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1918
Location: Not on display
Hauberk
European, 15th century
Medium: riveted steel rings
Measurements: Diameter: 1.1cm, Overall: 128.3cm x 91.4cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1817
Location: Armor Court
Hauberk
Europe, 15th century
Medium: very fine rings; border of brass rings at bottom edge
Measurements: Diameter: 0.25cm, Overall: 145.5cm x 74.3cm
Date: 1400s
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John L. Severance 1916.1897
Location: Not on display

Misc.

Jug with Scale Pattern
Italy, Siena, 14th century
Medium: tin-glazed earthenware (majolica)
Measurements: Overall: 26.85cm x 10.cm
Date: c. 1350
Seventy-fifth anniversary gift of Rainer Zietz 1991.112
Location: Not on display
spacer
The distinctive shape of this jug and its decorative glazes point to a kiln in Siena. The body of the vessel is painted in green and manganese to create an unusual scale pattern. Distinctive regional shapes and styles developed in medieval Italy making it possible to assign vessels such as this to a particular region.
Belt for a Lady's Dress
Italy, Siena (?), 14th century
Medium: basse-taille enamel and gilding on silver, silver thread, gilt-silver buckle, cast and chased
Measurements: Overall: 236.5cm x 2.9cm x 0.6cm
Date: c. 1375-1400
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1930.742
Location: Gallery 214
spacer
Because of its extraordinary richness, this belt (known as a girdle) would have been considered by its owner to be both a sumptuous ornament for the body and an object of great personal luxury. Almost eight feet in length, belts like this were at the height of fashion for both men and women. After being passed around the waist and through the buckle, one end of the belt would fall to the hem of the garment. The belt's many colorful enamel plaques are worked in translucent enamel over decoration engraved into the silver beneath (an enameler's technique known as basse-taille). Within the plaques and cast into the buckle are scenes of courtly love, musicians, and fantastic animals. A large number of translucent enamels were made for domestic use during the late Middle Ages--for use on jewelry, cups, wine fountains, and similar objects. This belt is a rare survival among these now scarce objects.
Chalice
Hungary, 15th century
Medium: gilt silver and filigree enamel
Measurements: Overall: 24.6cm
Date: c. 1450-1500
John L. Severance Fund 1990.3.1-2
Location: Rotunda
Initial Tfrom a Choral Book with Isaac and Esau
Bartolomeo da Gallarate
Medium: ink, tempera, and gold on vellum
Measurements: Sheet: 18.cm x 16.cm
Date: c. 1460-1470
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1949.535
Location: Not on display
spacer
The subject of this initial recounts the biblical story of the "stolen" blessing of Esau. The dying Isaac, old and blind, is approached by his son Esau, who seeks his blessing. Esau discovers that his twin brother, Jacob, had already obtained the irrevocable blessing through deception.
Images Copyright The Cleveland Museum of Art 2001