Horse Muzzle

Dublin Core


Horse Muzzle


This horse muzzle was made in Germany in 1556, and would have been used as a decorative piece of apparel for the horse of a night or nobleman. Made out of pierced, chiseled, and tinned steel, this muzzle has several interesting images built into the metal. On the top, the inscription "VDMIE" refers to a Latin verse from the book of Peter in the bible, and was a popular verse in Saxony in the mid-1500s.

The front of the muzzle depicts the images of a ram and a buck -- two male animals that compete in battles by smashing their heads together. The ram and buck depicted on the muzzle also have very large horns on the top of their heads, suggesting that they are supposed to represent some type of aggressive or war-like attribute of the horse wearing the muzzle. Though this muzzle would not have been worn during a battle, it is still designed to invoke pious feelings, and the notion of bravery and chivalry in the horse itself.


Photo taken by Elena Prieto


Made in Germany


Philadelphia Museum of Art




Horse Muzzle.jpg


Photo taken by Elena Prieto, “Horse Muzzle,” War & Conquest in Medieval Europe, accessed April 2, 2020,