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Beautifully embossed shields were popular in Italy, among the wealthy and in fact were demonstrations of their wealth. A number have survived, virtually all in museums as unlike some other arms and armor items, they were always valued as works of art and never disregarded. The Wallace collection acquired a fine selection in the 19th century, nine of which are illustrated in their catalog. The interest in   Gothic/Renaissance arms and armor which sprang in part from the Eglinton Tournament of 1839 matured into architecture with the Baronial style. Many of the finest homes thus constructed contained armories fostering an industry in providing antique and reproduction arms and armor. Among the products were copies of these beautiful shields, made by taking impressions from the museum originals. Three techniques were used: die stamping where sheet metal was pressed into a negative die which may or may not have been copied from a museum original. Electrotype, which is a form of plating process in which the builds to a self supporting object, and cast iron where molten iron is poured into a mold formed from the impression taken from the original. This shield is made by that method and retains its fine detail as cast. It is decorated in high relief with a central panel of Medusa’s face, flanked by panels of a noble/royal couple. Above and below are vignettes of mythological battles. The field is of four seated figures, male and female, accompanied by various arms and armor items. The message is clearly wealth and power. The shield is 28 ¾” high and made with a suspension loop on the back for wall hanging.
Stock Number: A9529

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