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Title: Decorated Great Siege armours for the Hospitaller Knights at the Palace Armoury Museum, Valletta
Authors: Navarro, Franco
Keywords: Armories -- Malta
Armor -- Catalogs -- Malta
Knights of Malta -- History
Palace Armoury (Valletta, Malta)
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: University of Malta. Junior College
Citation: Symposia Melitensia. 2012, Vol.8, p. 93-104
Abstract: The collection of arms and Armour at the Palace Armoury Museum in Valletta represents the Hospitallers' military adaptations during the path of warfare in history and their artistic tastes. Particularly interesting are the mid-sixteenth century Armours, frequently termed the "Great Siege Armours". The latter bear intricate designs of decorations that speak a Mannerist artistic language, inherited by the Italian Renaissance. This language, one may perhaps add, was international and spread from Northern Italy and Southern Germany throughout Europe, manifesting itself in the emergence of different schools of armourers and decorators. The present collection was first catalogued by Sir G. F. Laking in 1903. Laking categorised and attributed several pieces and harnesses, and he was to remain the only scholar to research these valuable items until 1969. In 1969 the UNESCO sent two Polish experts to study and inventory the arms and armours within the collection. Z. Zygulsky and A. Czerwinsky worked on an extensive and very important inventory between 25 January and 7 February 1969. Unfortunately, the work carried out by the Polish experts lost much ofits validity in 1975 when the armoury was moved to what were once the Palace's stables. The UNESCO experts had organised and catalogued each item, inventorizing portions, measurements and case numbers. Hence, the items had to be re-ordered. For a more academic study on the collection of arms and armour, and Hospitaller military organisation, the most recent study was that carried out by S. C. Spiteri in 2003. As for the decorations and methods of identification of Hospitaller Great Siege Armours, the most important work was recently carried out by K. Watts. The latter is the curator of Art and Armour at the Royal Armouries of Leeds.
ISSN: 1812-7509
Appears in Collections:SymMel, 2012, Volume 8 (Special Issue)
SymMel, 2012, Volume 8 (Special Issue)

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