A tombstone of an unknown knight
Tombstone from the Castle of Tata, Hungary, 16th–17th century
(Length: 209 cm, width: 98 cm)
The red limestone of the tombstone must have come from Tardos, Hungary, and we can see a relief of a man on it. The tombstone is fragmented and broken but significant parts are not missing from it. The stone must have been a central piece of a larger composition because we cannot see any scripts on it. It was found by Rómer Flóris before 1938, the stone was built into the wall of a wine-cellar in Neszmély.
We can see a man with a long beard and mustache on it, with short curly hair, his legs are a bit shorter compared to his body. There is a commander’s rod in his uplifted right hand while his left hand is resting on a basket-hilted sword. A long dagger can be seen which was attached to his armor behind his waist. There is a simple wheel-lock pistol hanging on his left. His chest, his shoulders, and his thighs are covered by a plate armor while his arms are dressed in chain-mail. His hand is protected by a gauntlet. The sleeves of his trousers are coming out at his knees from his armor that is protecting his tights; he is wearing boots. His helmet is in front of him on a column. This is a high-quality tombstone and it had been curved with the greatest care, besides, they wanted to depict the nobleman as realistically as they could. The minor details are also very nicely curved, for example, the chain-mail at the frame of the stone is delicately curved, too.
We don’t know who this lord was but he had to live in that age when the role of plate armor and chainmail was still more important than the early firearms. Unless the maker didn’t intend to make the tombstone look older than its age, one would think it was made in the second part of the 16th century or from the first years of the 17th century, at least as much as the helmet and the weapons would suggest it. The delicate curving tells us that the person must have been somebody important and rich. As it was found near to Neszmély, it is quite likely that it had been made in Komárom Castle or somewhere near to it.
All I know, that this knight must have belonged to the Valiant Order whose members were defending the Hungarian Borderland for so many centuries. Many of them are unknown but we should remember them. Here, I wrote a few words about this unofficial knightly order, and in subsequent posts, I have even made an attempt of collecting some of their names. You can read more about their deeds that I connected to the menu point of the following writing: