The Heldenrüstkammer of Archduke Ferdinand II in Schloss Ambras

“A catalogue of the Heldenrüstkammer of Archduke Ferdinand II in Schloss Ambras, the first collection of armour formed for historical reasons in the first purpose-built museum North of the Alps.” The work illustrates 125 suits of armor, one per plate. Its full title runs to 133 words. What follows is a rendering of just the first portion of the full title: “Most true images of the most august emperors, the most serene kings and archdukes, of the most illustrious princes, as well as earls, barons, nobles, and other eminent men, who were either the commanding leaders in war or within their realms performed admirably…[together with] succinct descriptions [of their achievements].” (Sometimes this work is referred to as the “Armamentarium Heroicum,” Latinizing the German for “Heroes Armory.”)
❧ This tour-de-force of Baroque illustration was complied by Jakob Schrenk von Notzing with plates believed to be by the engraver Dominicus Custos. The book was published in Innsbruck in 1601. This date in the Princeton copy has been revised by means of a handstamp to read “M.DC.XIX.” The Library’s copy is bound in contemporary calf and is stamped with the name and arms of its first owner: Hector Le Breton, seigneur de la Doineterie, who held public offices during the reigns of Henri IV, Louis XIII, and Louis XIV. In 1615 he succeeded his cousin as roi d’armes de France.
❧ Call number; (Ex) D106 .S3f. Purchased in 1983 from Robin Halwas (antiquarian bookseller, London; his catalogue 3, number 79).
❧ Cf. Elisabeth Scheicher, “Historiography and Display: The Heldenrustkammer of Archduke Ferdinand II in Schloss Ambras.” Journal of the History of Collections 2 (1990): 69-79.