Iron, leather, silk
Lent by the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Hofjagd- und Rüstkammer, Vienna 10.2017
The Hapsburgs enjoyed dressing their children in small custom suits of armor so they could be paraded in public or on formal occasions in court; naturally children outgrew these suits of armor which were often preserved as mementos.
Originally, small armors and weapons were produced for the young sons of the nobility so that they could familiarize themselves with the equipment at an early age. Over time, as the knight’s role declined in European warfare, training these youths became less necessary. As a result, arms and armor for the young increasingly became mainly symbols of social status. The Hapsburgs were prominent among European aristocracy in the commissioning of small armors for their sons. This armor was made for a son of Archduke Leopold V.
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