Object Title

Backplate

Backplate

Date

1490

Object Number

III.1293

Provenance

Purchased from the National Magazine Co. (W R Hearst collection) October 1952, with the help of the Pilgrim Trust, National Art Collections Fund and a special Exchequer Grant, one of 52 items purchased together. Formerly in the Collection of the Duke of Ratibor at Schloss Grafenegg, sold Fischer, Luzern, 2 May 1936, No.88, lot 16.

Physical Description

The upper part is constructed in three pieces, a main central plate and two side pieces each connected by two brass hinges. The main plate has an ogee-shaped embossing at the neck edged by a row of punch marks, the arm openings bordered by double flutes. The upper backplate is intended to be detachable, connected to the waist plate by a turning pin at either side, and with a sqaure hole and small rivet hole above, at the centre of the upper backplate's lower edge, and a matching hole at the centre of the upper edge of the waist plate show the location of a locating stud or possibly a screw and threaded plate. The waist plate is formed of a single plate, shaped to the waist which is defined by a line of punch marks. A culet of four lames, the lowest wider than those above and dipping deeply at the centre. This has a double recessed border, the main edge pierced with small rivet holes for the attachment of a decorative brass border. The lames are articulated by rivets at either side and by a medial leather. Sprays of four flutes flare up and down from the c entre of the waist, and the upper edges of the culet lames are cusped at the junction of the flutes. All the rivets are of brass-capped iron. The interior of the upper backplate and waist plate are painted with the red associated with Grafenegg. At either side of the waist is a modern waist strap and buckle, and at either shoulder a shoulder strap.

Dimensions

Dimensions: Height: 550 mm; width: 336 mm Weight: 2,440 g (5 lb 6 oz))

Inscriptions and Marks

At the neck is stamped the CASP mark of Kaspar Rieder.

Associations

Bibliographic References

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1

O. Gamber, 'Harnischstudien VI. Stilgeschichte des Plattenharnisches von 1440-1510',Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen in Wien, Band 51, 1955, p.86-7, fig.1.

B. Thomas and O. Gamber, Die Innsbrucker Platterkunst, Innsbruck, 1954, p.32 and 53, no.14 p.54.

Claude Blair, European Armour, B.T. Batsford Ltd., London, 1958, p.220-21.

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXI.

I.D.D. Eaves and T. Richardson, 'The Treytz Armour of Gaudenz Von Matsch at Schloss Churburg', The Journal of The Arms and Armour Society, vol.XIII, supplement, September 1990, pp.1-22, p.8, fig.4F.

Notes

Pair to the breastplate, III.1294. Kaspar Rieder, one of the fine armourers working in Muhlau on the north bank of the Inn, is recorded working from 1452-99, as armourer to archduke Sigismund of Tyrol and the emperor Maximilian I. Compare the cuirass of the Innsbruck armour for the young Philip I ('the Handsome') by Hans Prunner, 1488/9, in the Hofjagd- und R³stkammer, Vienna, no. A.9 which has similar fluting (Thomas & Gamber 1976: 125-6, figs 50-1). A similar lower culet lame is III.1092, and a similar culet is illustrated on a half armour depicted in the anonymous Swabian drawing Study of a knight in armor, holding a halberd, of about 1490-1500, formerly in the Woodner collection, New York, now in the National Gallery of Art, Washington no. 1998.17.9 (see Karcheski & Richardson 2000, no. 5.6).