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Purchased from Sotheby's, Olympia, 5 December 2002; Lot No 115. Formerly part of the collection of The Museums fur Deutsche Geschichte, Berlin and deaccessioned as part of a government snactioned private treaty sale in 1978. (See Sotheby's catalogue entry)

Physical Description

Made of wood and covered with gessoed canvas front and rear, with a broad gutter of rounded section. The inside retains four of its original iron staples. The front of the pavise is painted with a grid-like framework of alternating black and white bands, filled with four large stylised semi-circular sunbursts, the gothic letter K arranged in pairs at the top, middle and bottom. The central panel is filled with a vertical scale pattern over much of the length of the gutter and with the town arms of Straubing, a wheeled plough, at the top, and all painted in black and white on a brick-red ground sown with white pellets and small trefoil sprigs of foliage. There are some small losses and the coat of arms is extensively chipped.


Dimensions: Length: 1042 mm (41 in)


Places Germany

Bibliographic References

Vladimir Denkstein, 'Pravezy Ceskeho Typu II: Puvod a vyoi pavez v predhistske Evrope' in Sbornik, 'Narodniho Muzea v Praze', 1964, no 24 (Illustrated)


The present example, according to the Sotheby's catalogue entry, is perhaps the sole surviving shield from the group described above.

The Duchy of Bavaria-Straubing was founded in 1218 by Duke Ludwig of Bavaria. In 1425 the Duchy was shared amongst the Dukes Louis VII, Henry IV and Ernest, an acrimonious arrangement only resolved by the reunion of the fragmented Bavarian territories within the reign of Duke Albrecht IV (The Wise), reigned 1467 - 1508. The plough is most likely the old village symbol of Straubing and was used as the simple symbol on arms and coins until the end of the 18th century.

A pavise decorated with semi-circular sunburst motifs similar to those found on this pavise and formerly in the collection of William Randolph Hearst is now preserved in The Kretzschmar von Kienbusch Collection, Philadelphia, No 281.