martedì 24 maggio 2016

Parade Shield Villani family Florence

Firenze
ca. 1380-1450

Kite or long heater shield made of wood covered with painted and gilt gesso, charged with the arms of the Villani family of Florence, from the Palazzo Guadagni, Florence, mid 15th century.

Shield made of wood covered with painted and gilt gesso on the outside and leather on the inside, charged with the arms of the Villani family of Florence, a "griffin rampant sable with a label of three points gules, within a bordure engrailed with gules" (Hayward:European Armour: "gules" is a heraldic term for red). The griffin is composed of thickly built up gesso painted black or dark blue set in a gilt gesso scrolled background. The border is indented with red dog-tooth patterns. According to the early museum records, there was no trace of an arm loop but three nails remained, presumably on the inside.

Arms of the Villani family of Florence 'Or, a griffin rampant sable with a label of three points gules, within a bordure engrailed gules'.

The shield originally belonged to the Villani, a family of prominent wool merchants, who from the 1470s were known for their hostility towards the Medici, the leading family of Florence of the day.

Wooden shields like this example were used for parades, cavalcades and carnivals in 15th century Florence, rather than protection in battle, and were aimed to show off the prestige of a family.

Dimensions
Height: 111.8 cm, Width: 55.9 cm, Depth: 18.2 cm


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