The original core of the arms and armoury collection came from the Château de Ribeaupierre, in Ribeauvillé. These pieces came to the Unterlinden convent having been seized during the French Revolution. Edmond Fleischhauer (1812-1896), who was president of the Société Schongauer from 1885, considerably expanded the collection through purchases and then the bequest of his own collection in 1896. Beyond their technical and historical interest, some of these objects also possess an aesthetic dimension, such as this remarkable ceremonial shield, with its decoration of genre scenes relating to the seasons.
This circular shield, also known as a roundel, is understood to have belonged to a member of the Ribeaupierre family, having been given to him as a gift by Duke Ludwig of Württemberg-Montbéliard (1554-1593). The painting on this ceremonial shield is attributed to Hans Steiner, one of the duke’s court painters. The convex surface is divided into four quarters by the elongated silhouettes of trees rising up towards a central radiant sun. Each section illustrates one of the seasons, the names of which are stated in the labels around the rim, as well as the types of hunting practiced at that time of year.
Whilst work continues at the Musée Unterlinden, this object is not currently on display.