Suit of armor of a Duke of the Infantado, Germany, circa 1520 Front view

Musée de l'Armée - Hôtel des Invalides

Musée de l'Armée - Hôtel des Invalides
Paris, France

A stunning specimen of jousting armor, created in Germany for a Duke of the Infantado. This title was created in 1475 and bestowed to those who, from 1520 onwards, were known as the Grandes of Spain, which was the most elite echelon of Spanish nobility after the Infantes (the sons of the sovereign). The magnificent palace was built in the town of Guadalajara in Castile.
Unfortunately, the red velvet tabard, embroidered with gold thread, that covers the suit of armor, does not date back to the same period. Instead, it dates back to the 19th century. The sizeable reinforced bevor, attached to the breastplate with two screws, was also added after this suit of armor was manufactured. It does, however, correspond to elements typically found in jousting armor. Some of these pieces are present, starting with the shortened cuisse and the high-coverage pauldrons. Nevertheless, the most impressive element is the imposing reinforced cubitière (or couter, the protective elbow piece of plate armor). On the left arm it almost forms a buckle on its own. The contrast with the right arm only serves to make it even more fascinating. Effectively, the right arm is much lighter and is strewn with slits imitating the fabric clothing worn at the time.
The lower half of the suit of armor, composed of cuisses with six stripes, a pair poleyns, a pair of sealed greaves, and a pair of bear-claw sollerets, is less interesting.


  • Title: Suit of armor of a Duke of the Infantado, Germany, circa 1520 Front view
  • Date Created: 1520
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: 0,82 (w) x 1,82 (h) x 0,50 (l) m
  • Provenance: acquisition date: November 1964 (purchase)
  • Subject Keywords: Protection, Ornament, Joust
  • Type: Armet
  • Rights: Photo (C) Paris - Musée de l'Armée, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Philippe Fuzeau
  • Medium: Fer, Laiton, Velours, Fils métalliques, Brodé, Ajouré, Doré
  • Inventory: 564 PO

Additional Items

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps