Armor for Heavy Calvary (Cuirassier)

A work made of steel and leather.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of steel and leather.

Date:

about 1610

Artist:

Italian; Milan

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.

On View

Arms, Armor, Medieval, and Renaissance, Gallery 239

Title

Armor for Heavy Calvary (Cuirassier)

Origin

Milan

Date

1605–1615

Medium

Steel and leather

Dimensions

H. 127 cm (50 in.)

Credit Line

George F. Harding Collection

Reference Number

1982.2420a-l

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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