Battle-shield with coat of arms inspired by Oriental motifs
Swiss National Museum
Alderwood; leather-coated, painted
Switzerland, Canton of Uri
Some people like to claim that everything used to be better in the old days. Indeed, the oldest extant battle-shield, too, once shone in bright colours. Analysis has shown that, 800 years ago, the greyish green used to be a vibrant blue. The lion, too, wasn’t always as lacklustre as it is now; it used to stand out in shiny silver leaf. The shield belonged to the noble von Brienz family, which used to hold feudal rights in today’s Canton of Uri, on the road to the Gotthard pass. When its owner, the knight Arnold von Brienz, died in 1225, his battle-shield was placed above his tomb in commemoration of his deeds. This is how it survived the ages. The shield’s many notches, holes and nicks remind us of the brutal reality of medieval battles.
Style analysis. Coat of arms of the lineage von Brienz. Last owner: Knight Arnold von Brienz.
Bought in 1897 as part of the Denier-collection
"Battle-shield with coat of arms inspired by Oriental motifs" in MWNF GALLERIES , Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. http://www.museumwnf.org/thematicgallery/thg_galleries/database_item.php?itemId=objects;GALLERIES;sw;Mus01;5;en&id=arms_and_armoury
MWNF Working Number: CH_GAL_005