Wondering what we’ve been up to these past three weeks? Take a look!
*Cough Cough* We’ve got the “Plaque” Plague, Pop!
During her research of the Kienbusch Collection, Kristine found a plaque believed to be from around 1320. There was no image on file, but Kienbusch noted that there was a similar plaque in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Serendipitously, Dirk had received an inquiry as to the legitimacy of the plaque. So naturally, we all took a field trip with Jack Hinton, Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts and Sculpture, up to storage to see what was up with this plaque. Here are some thoughts that were shared about the object:
– Is this English? Were coats of arms codified by this point?
– No trace of enamel, and it doesn’t look like it was cast.
– This is pre-Edward III, and probably from between 1346 and 1356.
While we can’t show you the record shot we took, we can direct you to the similar plaque at the Metropolitan Museum of Art! (Bonus: Here’s a drawing of another similar plaque from the Odiot Collection!)
The Mystery of the Miniature Horse Armor
Although much mystery and intrigue surround this potentially-fake miniature horse armor, we, along with Dirk, still believe it to be an authentic. The trouble is that we are still unsure as to what purpose it served! One reason for the past doubts is the odd nature of the object overall. Miniature horse armor is very rare, and one dating from the 16th century seems to be unique. We have recently been researching about miniature armor in many forms, varying from toys in early modern Europe to nineteenth-century models created in Paris of armor. While we won’t give away all the recent information on the mini horse armor, look out for an upcoming Philadelphia Museum of Art “WTF” (Why That’s Fascinating!) video by Dirk on the object!
Capturing Carl Otto Kretzschmar von Kienbusch
We extensively researched Kienbusch; his family, his publications, references to his collection or to any of his donations or scholarships were all included. While we haven’t completed a full in-depth biography of Kienbusch, we want to share some interesting facts that aren’t usually included when discussing his arms and armor collection.
Kienbusch had another passion in life: fishing also known as angling! Throughout his life he acquired a significant collection of books on angling which he donated to his alma mater, Princeton. Kienbusch’s most notable impact on angling resulted from his discovery of the only known copy The arte of angling, the oldest known book on angling from England. As a result of the discovery and his desire to spread his passion for fishing Kienbusch, along with others, published the book in 1956 through the Princeton University Press with an introduction by Kienbusch.
Throughout Kienbusch’s life he had a strong connection to his alma mater, Princeton. After his graduation in 1906, he continued to remain involved with the alumni and provide for the school. Some of the many endowments he provided were the C. Otto von Kienbusch Undergraduate Female Athletes Award, C. O. von Kienbusch Fellowship in Art and Archaeology, and scholarships for Football and Track. Among the many associations one of the most interesting was his choice to endow a scholarship for women athletes. Kienbusch’s endowment was the first of its kind to provide financial support to women’s athletics. To this day the scholarship is still presented to two senior students each year who exemplify scholastic and athletic proficiency.
William Reid Goes Digital
We had a wonderful time digitizing and deciphering William Reid’s Crossbow Archive. We scanned over 1,000 cards, and typed up all that we could recognize of his writing. How hard could it be to read an index card full of writing, you ask? Please, by all means, give it a shot! In all seriousness, this archive was Bill’s lifelong work with crossbow, and an incredible asset that Dirk brought to the museum.
All My Children
No, we didn’t watch soap operas while Dirk was gone! We did another scanning project! We scanned all of the photos that Dirk has collected for a super top-secret project that will hopefully be coming to the Arms & Armor Galleries soon! Here’s a sneak peek of what’s in store!
Thanks for checking in on our update! Now on to inventory!