Attributed to Richard Holden / Harquebus Armor of Pedro II, King of Portugal / ca. 1683Attributed to Richard Holden
Harquebus Armor of Pedro II, King of Portugal
ca. 1683

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Creator Name: Holden, Richard
Creator Qualifier: Attributed to
Creator Nationality: European; British; English
Creator Dates/Places: recorded 1658-1708
Creator Name-CRT: Attributed to Richard Holden
Title: Harquebus Armor of Pedro II, King of Portugal
Title Type: Object name
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1681
Creation End Date: 1685
Creation Date: ca. 1683
Object Type: Decorative Arts and Utilitarian Objects
Classification Term: Armors
Materials and Techniques: Steel, engraved, blued, and gilded
Dimensions: Total Wt. 43 lb. 5 oz. (19.6 kg)
AMICA Contributor: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Owner Location: New York, New York, USA
ID Number: 15.113.1-5; 29.158.885
Credit Line: Armor: Rogers Fund, 1915; Buff coat: Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from Various Donors, 1929

This armor can be identified by its decoration as having belonged to Pedro II (r. 1683-1706). The decoration includes the crowned monogram PR, for 'Pedro Rex' (Pedro the King), and the cross of the commander of the Order of Christ, a hereditary office held by the kings of Portugal.

Harquebusiers were armored cavalrymen generally equipped with a carbine (known as a harquebus) carried at the right side on a shoulder belt, a pair of pistols holstered at the front of the saddle, and a sword. This form of armor, consisting of a triple-barred helmet, a cuirass with a bulletproof reinforcing breastplate (not shown), and an elbow gauntlet, was common in England until about 1645. The armor of King Pedro is significant not only as a late example of this type but also as the probable work of the little-known armorer Richard Holden of London. A similar armor made by Holden in 1686 for James II of England (r.1685-88) is in the Royal Armouries in the Tower of London. The armor is shown with an associated buff coat. This sturdy leather defense, which provided effective protection against sword cuts, was worn throughout the seventeenth century, first in conjunction with armor and later alone.

AMICA ID: MMA_.15.113.1-5_29.158.885
AMICA Library Year: 2000
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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