1)Battle shields, European, medieval 11th-14th century, almond-shaped battle shield with curved topline, extremely heavily weathered and worm-eaten, wood chemically strengthened and preserved. L 125 cm W 40 cm.
2)Hungarian-style Shield, ca. 1500–1550 Eastern European Wing-shaped shields, with the distinctive upward-sweeping back edge, were the characteristic light-cavalry shields of Hungary. During the sixteenth century, the style was adopted across much of eastern Europe by both Christian and Islamic horsemen. The shield’s elongated upper edge was designed to defend the back of the head and neck against cuts from the saber, the preferred cavalry weapon in that region. This shield is painted on its exterior with the double-bladed sword of the Prophet Muhammad and on its interior with the Crucifix and instruments of the Passion. This unusual mix of Islamic and Christian symbols suggests that the shield was used in a tournament by a Christian warrior dressed in oriental fashion. In these “Hungarian-style” tournaments, the participants wore Hungarian and Turkish costumes and used sabers to strike off feathers attached to their opponents’ helmets and to the apex of their painted shields. Even at a time when Turkish armies were a constant threat to eastern Europe, their costumes and tactics were imitated by their Christian foes.
3)The sword and shield found at the tomb of Henry V. I admire the hollow-ground blade. Oakshott type XIII.
4)A Fine and Rare Large Bohemian Pavise, circa 1400. Height: 85 ½ in; Width: 30 ½ in. Pavises are fitted at their lower ends with a pair of projecting iron spikes that could be driven into the ground so as to better resist the onslaught of the enemy. A particular tactic of the Bohemians was to form a solid wall of pavises.
The pavise–referred to in Italian and German documents as early as the first half of the 13th century–is thought to have taken its name from the North Italian city of Pavia. According to an anonymous chronicle of about 1330, ‘The military renown of the Pavians is proclaimed all over Italy. After it are called large shields, rectangular at top and bottom, known as Papienses. It was perhaps through the influence of Italian mercenaries that the use of the pavise spread to other parts of Europe, most notably Bohemia where it was employed to impressive effect by the Hussite revolutionary armies of the late 14th and early 15th centuries. The bold heraldic design of the present example can be seen as a 'differenced’ version of the arms of Bohemia, namely gules, a lion rampant or, occurring on a pavise of almost identical design that passed through the art market in 1994.
5)A pavise from Bavaria, dated to the late Middle Ages and painted with the arms of Shongau Source: Andreas Praefcke (Own work (own photograph)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons.
6)Archer’s Shield (Pavise), probably Bohemian (Chomutov), ca 1440 – “This example is painted in the center with a crown surmounted by three ostrich feathers, a badge of the kings of Bohemia. Below this is the letter Y on a radiant cloud, possibly the monogram for Yhesus (Jesus). At the top is the coat of arms of the Saxon city of Zwickau (a red shield with three white swans), which was added to the shield at a later date.”
7)Pavise. Bohemian, mid-15th century. Bears arms of Zwickau and Saxony in Germany.