This decorative and highly detailed shield is based on the original King Henry II parade shield which resides in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Circa 1555. It’s called ‘parade armor’ because it was never actually intended for war. It was elaborately embossed and often gilded, designed to be part of a collection for ceremonies. The original armor, helmet and shield designed by Etienne Delaune took 10 years to make. The workshop in which it was fabricated was most likely the French Royal Armory. The original shield was re-discovered during an auction in France in the mid 1800’s, and as the 19th century progressed, there was a renewed interest in the decorative arts of the Renaissance.
Our shield was likely cast sometime in the early 1900’s, from a model that was sculpted in the late 1800’s. Although, the design is not identical to the original, it is very close. The central battle scene is said to depict the victory of Hannibal and the Carthaginians over the Romans in Cannae in 216 B.C. The border of the shield has ornate war trophies, hanging garlands of fruit and foliation, scrolls, and much more. We have added a light layer of wax to give it depth.
CONDITION: Good antique condition. Dark spots along left side and also to upper right winged figure (see photos). Small loop on back for hanging.