A Complete Defence for the Right Arm, for an Armour made for the German Joust, or Stechzeug, c. 1530-35

3975 image
3975 2image

Item ref: 3975

  • Southern Germany, Nuremberg.
  • Steel, copper alloy, leather.
  • 56 x 30 x 25.5 cm mounted


The Klep van Velthoven Collections, Belgium; probably acquired by the noted collector Norbert Klep van Velthoven (1881-1956)

An arm defence of this distinctive type formed a part of the specialist armour referred to as a Stechzeug, worn by members of the nobility of the Holy Roman Empire participating in the Deutsche Gestech, the ‘German Joust of Peace’. Within the late 15th century the stechzeughad been refined to the form in which it ultimately continued into the 1530’s and beyond, also for the wider use of patricians among the burgher citizenry of Nuremberg.

The present 16th century example, very possibly from the Nuremberg workshop of Valentin Siebenbürger, is the defence for the right arm, under which the cradled lance was couched. A gauntlet was customarily not required to protect the right hand, protection instead being provided by the large vamplate fitted to the lance ahead of the grip. This vambrace with its fan-like poldermiton and fluted spaulder therefore form a complete element, and equally remarkably they are likely homogenous from the point of their early assembly. A single rigid heavy gauntlet, a manifer, was worn on the left hand only.