Antique 19th Century Silver Plated Copy of Henry II of France Renaissance Shield
Spectacular antique, second half of the 19th century Renaissance Revival silver plated on copper iron shield, copy of the original shield of King Henry II of France (reigned 1547–1559) currently in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
It is believed that a perfectly executed battle scene with small details represents the victory of Hannibal and Carthaginians over the Romans in Cannae in 216 BC, which can be interpreted as an allusion to France's fight with the Holy Roman Empire in the 16th century.
This allegorical battle scene depicts the siege of a fortified city, possibly unsettlement of the city occupied by Ottoman warriors (reinforcement: mounted Ottoman warriors rush to the city), using the latest firearm technology on both sides, still ancient fortifications; indicated camp/tent city.
The border decorated with Roman amulets and helmets, fruit bundles, captured warriors and large Roman mythological masks - a typical ornament in the Renaissance art.
On the back of the shield is: handwritten initials "YRS" and an additional handwritten script, possibly the artist's signature, and suspension mount for hanging the shield on the wall.
According to the notes from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the shield design is attributed to the Parisian goldsmith and printmaker Etienne Delaune (1518-1583), who probably also designed the armor of Henry II, which is also in the Museum's Collection.
In the 19th century, in the Victorian era, arms and armor were one of the most important elements of the interior design of upper-class mansions. These residences were decorated with arms and armor, some of them were antique, and some custom made copies of famous armors as this King Henry II shield.
The prices of these objects depended on the quality of workmanship; for example, some of them made to order for wealthy customers with details and silver-plated were expensive, but most were made without any details and not silver-plated for a lower price.
This is the best quality copy of King Henry II of France shield, which I saw during my 45 years of experience in the arms and armor trade.
CONDITION: Very good. Slight wear to silver plating with a visible copper substrate, some discoloration, and patina overall.
DIMENSIONS: 63 cm x 45.5 cm (24.8 inches x 17.91 inches)
WEIGHT approximately: 5 kg (11.023 pounds)