At the top of the Great Stair Hall, the Kretzschmar von Kienbusch galleries feature a remarkable selection of fine armor and arms intended for kings, princes, noblemen, and their armed retainers. The high quality of the armor for man and horse, swords, daggers, polearms, firearms, shields, crossbows, and equestrian equipment on view in these galleries draws attention to the luxury, diversity, and refinement of martial objects made by some of Europe's most accomplished armorers over many centuries.
These galleries contain martial objects made by some of Europe's most accomplished armorers
Examples of plate and mail armor include head and body armor for men, boys, and horses which were used in war, various forms of tournament, and ceremonies (particularly between the 15th and 17th centuries).
Most of these objects are of German and Italian origin, though there are also remarkable French, English, Spanish, Hungarian, and Islamic examples on view. A wide range of medieval and Renaissance shields, as well as numerous polearms, are also featured.
Many of the objects on display can be securely traced back to the armories and gunrooms of powerful rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperors, the kings of Spain, the prince electors of Saxony, and the Ottoman and Mamluk sultans.
Horse and Man Armors
Gallery 247, second floor
The Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates the acquisition of an outstanding masterpiece of early Renaissance armor: an exceedingly rare, fine, and complete horse armor and man armor, made in 1507 and about 1505 by the celebrated German armorers Wilhelm von Worms the Elder and Matthes Deutsch, respectively. The Horse and Man Armors are the Gift of Athena and Nicholas Karabots and The Karabots Foundation.