Buffe, about 1585. Museum no. M.111-1921. Bequeathed by D.M. Currie

Buffe, about 1585. Museum no. M.111-1921. Bequeathed by D.M. Currie

Buffe (face guard for a helmet)
Milan, Italy
About 1585
Probably from the workshop of Lucio Piccinino (born around 1535, active around 1570-1589)
Steel, embossed, chased and damascened with gold and silver
Probably presented to the future King Philip III of Spain in 1585 by Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy as part of a series of richly decorated parade suits
Museum no. M.111-1921
Bequeathed by D.M. Currie

Steel is a strong metal alloy, yet this piece of armour would have been used on parade rather than in battle. The Museum acquired it as a work of art. It shows enormous skill in metalworking. The careful relief decoration has been created by embossing, using tools to raise the surface of the metal from the reverse side. The intricate silver and gold decoration is called damascening. This technique was imported into Europe from the Middle East.