Italian Art, History and Culture

Alla Tedesca?

Italian ‘Gothic’ Armour and the Export Trade

Ebook on 15th century North Italian plate armor made in the German style: Alla Tedesca

Alla Tedesca?
Italian ‘Gothic’ Armour and the Export Trade


A4 Format PDF, 56 pages, 84 illustrations
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In the 15th century, the international arms trade was dominated by North Italian armourers, who tailored their styles for different regional markets. A good example was armour ‘alla tedesca’: ‘in the German style’. But just what was ‘alla tedesca’ armour like, and what was the response of native German armourers? In this publication Chris Dobson examines these questions, together with the effects of regional armour styles, which like languages, didn't just stop and start at national borders.

1. The Lombards
2. German Armour
3. 'Alla Tedesca'
4. Sallets and Bevors
5. The Infantry
6. Armharness
7. Legharness
8. Cultural Crossovers: Innsbruck and the Tyrol
9. Trading Places: The Italian Wars
Appendix: Armourers’ Marks

This publication is packed with new photography of Italian and German armour, and related works of art. It is a mine of information for students of 15th century armour, and there is also much here for the general history reader. Sincere thanks are due to the major museums that have contributed photographic images, or permitted new photography especially for this publication, including pieces never published before. There are also items from private collections, also published here for the first time. Contributing museums include: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Wallace Collection; the Royal Armouries; Glasgow Museums; the Bargello, Florence; the Museo Civico Bolzano; the Historisches Museum Luzern; the Landesmuseum Zürich; the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Köln; the Germanisches Nationalmuseum Nürnberg; the Museum und Galerie im Prediger; Schwäbisch Gmünd and the Castlerock Museum, Wisconsin.

This photography is combined with extracts from 15th century Milanese, Venetian and Florentine documents and period art, all of which Chris Dobson weaves together in his text to give a greater understanding of the North Italian export trade in arms and armour: converting standard armour for the German market, making new pieces ‘alla tedesca’, and even the training of German craftsmen in Milan. There is also a section on armour produced in Innsbruck and the Tyrol. The book concludes with the onset of the Italian Wars.

Painting of Christ Before Pilate by the Master of the Lyversberg Passion, c.1470-80, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne
Antonio de’ Seroni and others, composite armour, Museum und Galerie im Prediger, Schwäbisch Gmünd
Painting of the The Massacre of the Innocents by Matteo di Giovanni, 1482
15th century milanese sallet alla tedesca
Painting of Saint Florian wearing Innsbruck armour, by Michael Pacher
Innsbruck backplate by Kaspar Rieder
Photos from the book, credits from left to right/top to bottom: The Master of the Lyversberg Passion Christ Before Pilate, c.1470-80, Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne, photo © Rheinisches Bildarchiv Köln; Antonio de’ Seroni and others, composite armour, Museum und Galerie im Prediger, Schwäbisch Gmünd, photo © Christian Wiedner ; Matteo di Giovanni The Massacre of the Innocents 1482, photo © Scala, Florence; Milanese visored sallet, c.1470-80, photo author, © Royal Armouries; Michael Pacher Saint Florian, c.1480. © Museo Civico Bolzano/Stadtmuseum Bozen; Kaspar Rieder, backplate, Innsbruck, c.1490, photo author, © Royal Armouries.
© Chris Dobson 2021. All rights reserved | P.IVA 03799630045