Shaffron Belonging to the Armor of Duke Nikolaus the Black Radziwill, (1555).
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Blind Shaffron for the Joust GermanGerman blind shaffron for the Joust in iron, iron alloy, steel & brass, (ca. 1490). Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Steel, Iron alloy, Iron and iron alloy, Bavaria, Leather, Horse armor, Augsburg, Metal, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Europe, ca. 1545, Shaffrons, Germany, Steel, brass, and leather, German (Augsburg), Copper alloy, Brass
Shaffron belonging to Henry ll of France, (ca. 1490–1500, redecorated 1539).
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The shaffron (also spelled chaffronchampionchamfronchamfreinchampron, and chanfron) was designed to protect a horse’s face. Sometimes they included hinged cheek plates. A decorative feature common to many chanfrons is a rondelwith a small spike.

Shaffrons date back as early as ancient Greece, but vanished from use in Europe until the twelfth century when metal plates replaced boiled leather as protection for war horses. The basic design of the shaffron remained stable until it became obsolete in the seventeenth century, although late examples are often notable for engraved decoration. A shaffron extended from the horse’s ears to its muzzle. Flanges often covered the eyes. In an open shaffron, the eyes received no protection. Hinged extensions to cover the jowls were commonly used for jousting tournaments.

Shaffron in steel & copper alloy, Turkey (17th century).
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Franco-Italian shaffron in steel & iron alloy, Italy, (ca. 1480–95).
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Italian shaffron in iron, iron alloy, steel, brass & leather, probably Brescia, Lombardy, (ca. 1560–70). Copper alloy, Brass.
Metropolitan Museum of Art.
German half shaffron in steel, iron & iron alloy, leather, etched and blackened, (possibly from Braunschweig, Lower Saxony), (ca. 1553). Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bavarian shaffron in steel, iron, iron alloy, Leather, Horse armor, (ca. 1540), German, probably from Landshut.
Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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