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Renaissance stove tile with the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania

Unknown16th Century

National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania

National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
Vilnius, Lithuania

Many armorial stove tiles from different epochs decorated with the state heraldry of the rulers and magnates of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were discovered during the course of archaeological investigation work conducted in the territory of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in the Vilnius Lower Castle. Armorial tiles were mostly used in the construction of stoves (for indoor heating) in the representational rooms of the residences of Europe's rulers and magnates. They served as testimony of their owner's status.
This Renaissance flat stove tile dating to the mid-16th century is made of fired clay and has a polychromatic glaze coating. In the centre is an armorial shield with the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania – a rider on a bounding horse holding a raised sword, and a shield with a double cross at his left shoulder. The stove tile was also used in the reconstruction of the stove in the Renaissance Audience Hall of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania.
The coat of arms of Lithuania is one of the oldest state arms in all of Europe. It is believed that the rider, or cavalryman, was ultimately entrenched as the coat of arms of the Lithuanian ruler and state by Jogaila's cousin, Vytautas the Great. It was he who replaced the infantryman, in use up until then, with the image of the rider. By the beginning of the 15th century the colours and composition of this coat of arms had become uniform – a silver armoured rider with a sword raised above his head on a (usually) red background.

Details

  • Title: Renaissance stove tile with the coat of arms of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 16th Century
  • Location Created: The territory of the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania in the Vilnius Lower Castle
  • Physical Dimensions: 20 x 20 cm
  • Type: Stove tile
  • Rights: National Museum – Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania
  • Medium: Fired Clay, a Polychromatic Glaze Coating

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