Heavy horse armour of Emperor Maximilian I. from c. 1508.
This complete “Rossgelieger” is of excellent quality. The horse’s head is etched and gilded and the Roman imperial eagle is depicted on it.
The front shield is painted with the coat of arms of New Austria and Burgundy. The neck armour, called “Kanz”, consists of rails connected by armourware on which the St. Andrew’s cross appears etched. The bridle plates are blued and on them the coats of arms of Istria, the windy Mark, Styria, Pfirdt, Austria above and below the Enns, Carinthia, Tyrol, Portenau, Elass, Burgau and Kyburg are shown in white etching.
In the breastplate, called “Fürbug”, an angel in driven work is visible, holding the bandage shield in his hands. The covering of the croupe, the “Gelieger” in the narrower sense, consists of rails on which the pockets forming double eagles crowned on both sides with the binding shield in the heart hang down. Backwards, it ends in a dragon’s head to hold the horse tail.
The saddle, a so-called “crib saddle”, is covered with copper at the front, on which a lion’s head is visible. The upholstery is covered with pressed leather. The horse armour does not bear the mark of a master anywhere, but some details suggest that the same Nuremberg work is from around 1508.
Source: The weapons collection of the Austrian imperial family in the K. K. Artillery Arsenal Museum in Vienna. Museum of Art History Vienna. Collection of weapons; Quirin Leitner. Vienna: H. Martin, 1866.