From the William Fagan Premier Collection

Italian, late 15th century. This chamfron is a product of the Milanese armor industry of the late 15th and early 16th century, also known as the circle of Missaglia as it evolved from and is heavily influenced the great Antonio Missaglia and his family. It is made in one piece, formerly having separate earpieces. It is medially ridged for strength, with central piercing for a spike and two holes above for mounting an armorial device. The edges retain portions of their original riveted link mail. The upper right bears an armorer’s mark of the Milanese type, a split tail cross with initials at the ends of the tails. A number of such marks, all related are recorded and this one accords with that shown in Armours Marks, Gyngell, p.69 second row, #3. Those marks shown on p.68 and p.69 are captioned collectively as The Missaglias & Allied Armorers. Gothic armor is so rare that even fragments are preserved and sometimes, as here, repaired with riveted patches. The armor of the Knights of St John, discovered at Rhodes in 1908 is illustrative of that process. It was dispersed variously, including to the Art House Bachereau in Paris where riveted plate repairs such as this were made before reselling to of the world’s top collectors. Much of it now resides in the finest museum collections. This example evidently was stored for centuries in similar circumstances, probably in one of the thousands of European castles which survived into the 19th century and found its way into the collector’s market in the first quarter of the 20th century.

Stock Number: FNS9445

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