A GOTHIC BREASTPLATE C.1500
About the piece
This breastplate is of a type which evolved in the late Gothic period, C.1490 and remained popular until about 1520. With small differences, they were produced in Italy, Flanders and Spain. It is of heavy weight, made for infantry and bears a mark on the base flare, studied, but as yet unidentified . A large number of these breastplates were disposed of from the armory of the Dukes of Osuna in 1882, 1890 and 1896. Much of the early armor was purchased by the Conde del Asalto, passing to Ambrose Monell and then to William Randolph Hearst. Examples from the group are in numerous public collections here and abroad. This example is in excellent preservation as expected with the descent of ownership indicated above and accords with known Spanish examples. Its Spanish origin is very probable and it likely came from the Armory of the Dukes of Osuna as it is consistent with that group which represents by far the majority of such breastplates which were dispersed to the market.