Painted Shields
Der mittelalterliche Reiterschild
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Medieval Heraldry (Men-at-Arms)

This linkspage collects polychromatic painted shields from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, categorized by the form (and, to some extent, function) of the shield. It focuses on shields that were made for actual use, but includes parade shields and a few funerary shields as well.

Additional links available on shields in general, and on making shields for SCA and related styles of combat.



Several more photos & discussion in this thread on and this Flickr set.

  • Pavise from Erfurt, c. 1300
  • Pavise from Erfurt, first half of the 14th century
  • Back and front of a pavise with the heraldry of Erfurt, 14th-15th century
  • With many a proude pavis,
    Gailly paynted and stuffed wele.

    The Siege of Calais

  • Pavis with St. George and the dragon, Bohemia, c. 1430-1440 (Hermitage Digital Collection)
  • Pavise, c. 1440
  • Pavise, 1441
  • Pavise, 1441
  • Alle so they hadde pavysse bore as a dore i-made with a staffe foldynge uppe and downe to sette the pavys where the lykyd, and loupys with schyttyng wyndowys to schute owte at, they stondyng by hynde [t]e pavys, and the pavys as fulle of iijdnayle aftyr ordyr as they myght stonde. And whenn hyr schotte was spende and done they caste the pavysse by-fore hem, thenn there myght noo man come unto them ovyr the pavysse for the naylys that stode up-ryghte, but yf he wolde myschyffe hym sylfe.

    Gregory’s Chronicle

  • Archer's shield, Austrian? Bohemian?, mid-15th century
  • A Swiss (Winterthur) pavise, “painted with the arms of the League of St George and the Town of Winterthur,” mid-15th century
  • Pavise with the Arms of the League of Saint George and Winterthur, mid-15th century
  • Pavise painted with the coat of arms of the town of Wimpfen am Neckar (Baden-Württemberg), made in southern Germany, 1450-1500
  • Burgundian pavise, c. 1480
  • A Bohemian pavise, “with a border and a cross-band, both containing inscriptions in Gothic minuscule script, that on the latter a prayer in Bohemian, 'Maria Nomoz' (Maria help!), and framing two panels, the upper one with a scene of St. George and the Dragon with the Princess in a landscape with a castellated town in the background, and the lower one with branches bearing flowers,” c. 1480
  • Pavise with a wild-man and the heraldry of Maximilian I, Vienna, 1493
  • Shield with the cross of St. George (?) and the heraldry of Sixt von Schinen, second half of the 15th century
  • A German (Klausen) pavise, “painted light red with floral scrolls and with a white fess, representing the Austrian Bindenschild, at the top two shields, one on either side, painted respectively with the red cross of St. George on a white ground, and a six-pointed yellow (for gold) star on a green field,” mid-15th century
  • A German (Klausen) pavise, “decorated with the Austrian Bindenschild superimposed with scrolling foliage, and the upper portion with the heraldic arms in an escutcheon,” mid-15th century
  • Standing pavise, Klausen, c. 1480-1490
  • Pavise, Klausen
  • Pavise, Bohemia, c. 1480-1500
  • Bohemian pavise decorated with the arms of the city of Ravensburg, c. 1490
  • Two shields, one from the end of the 15th century, the other from the 16th century, from the Bavarian Armory Museum
  • A so-called pavise