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Purchased from the National Magazine Co. (William Randolph Hearst Collection) October 1952, with the help of the Pilgrim Trust, the National Art Collections Fund and a special Exchequer Grant. one of 52 items purchased together. From the Dukes or Ratibor collection at Schloss Grafenegg, sold at Galerie Fischer, Luzern, 2 May 1934, lot 90, associated with a composite armour

Physical Description

Of large size. The main plate is decorated with radiating and chevron-shaped flutes. In the centre is a bold embossed ridge diagonally roped. The eye openings are covered by hemispherical lattice-work cages. The escutcheon is engraved with a jester drawing a cart in which is a lute. The scroll above describes the image in German: 'EIN LAVTEN AUF EINEM KARS FIER DIE NAR': 'a fool pulls a lute on a cart, a quotation from Sebastian Brandt's popular Narrenschiff or Ship of Fools (1494).


Weight: kg ( 7 lb 4 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks



Places Germany

Bibliographic References

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

C.R. Beard, horse armour at St Donats, Connoiseur.

M Levkoff (ed), Hearst the collector, Los Angeles Museum of Art, 2008: 160, no. 21

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


The inscription on the escutcheon may be translated as 'a fool pulls a lute on a cart'.