About this artwork
This harness represents one of the last vestiges of fully armored cavalry, known as cuirassiers, trained to charge the enemy with a lance. By the 17th century firearms dominated the battlefield. In response to this development, the armorer of this piece made the breastplate and helmet thicker to resist the impact of musket fire. The dent on the breastplate, visible under the right arm, is a "proof mark" made when the armorer fired a musket at the piece to guarantee to his client that the armor was indeed shot-proof. Remarkably, the small size and girth of this armor suggest that it was made for a teenage boy for use either in training or in actual war, perhaps to accompany his father on a military campaign.
- Armor for Heavy Calvary (Cuirassier)
- Steel and leather
- H. 127 cm (50 in.)
- George F. Harding Collection