Comb Morion for the guard of Christian I or II, Electors of Saxony
possibly about 1590
blackened steel with etched and gilded decoration, brass, and leather
27.9 x 24.4 x 35.7 cm (11 x 9 5/8 x 14 1/16 in.)
The John Woodman Higgins Collection
The duke-electors of Saxony were powerful German princes who maintained a personal bodyguard unit (Trabantengarde), which during the reign of Christian I and II numbered 200 horsemen and footsoldiers. The pieces shown here are from the equipment unique to these troops. The bodyguards' armor and uniforms were black with gold decoration, as these are the heraldic colors of the Saxon ducal coat-of-arms.
The guard equipment was presented in a special gallery of the electoral armory in the Saxon capital, Dresden. From the nineteenth century onward however, much material considered duplicate was ordered given away or sold. In the 1830s for example, numerous comb morions like ours were sent to the city's opera house for use as props.