Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>1635 Hapsburg Kürassier
SubjectKürassier cuirassier
Culture: Hapsburg Imperial Austrian/German
Setting: Catholic League, Thirty Years War, Germany 1609-1648
Evolution1403 German Raubritter > 1494 Gothic German Ritter > 1529 Austro-German Ritter > 1635 Imperial German Kürassier

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

* Vuksic/Grbasic 1993 p120
"From the Dutch border to Poland on the west and Turkey to the south were the semi-independent states dominated by the Austrian Habsburg dynasty.  This whole area of central Europe, known for centuries as the Holy Roman Empire, was ruled from Vienna by the Austrian emperor, and the soldiers in his service were called simply 'imperialists'.  To distinguish themselves from other soldiers, they wore a red sash around their waists or over their shoulders and an oak twig in their helmets or hats."
    "At the turn of the century, imitating their Dutch counterparts, the imperial cuirassiers abandoned the heavy lance and began to use a pair of pistols.  More reliable and lighter firearms were one factor which would shape their future strategy; another was the formation of infantry units several thousand strong, half armed with muskets and arquebuses, the rest protecting them from heavy cavalry attacks with six-metre pikes."

* Imperial Austria 1992 p98
"cuirassier - a heavy cavalryman of the late 16th to the first half of the 17th century.  The cuirassier wore a bulletproof, three-quarter armour with a close helmet or Zischägge, and he was armed with pistols and a sword."


* Vuksic/Grbasic 1993 p120
"In the early seventeenth century, the imperial works began producing armour which discarded all superfluous parts but strengthened the back- and breastplates and headgear.  Because of the materials used, cavalry armour became heavier and more massive."  

* Shiny shapes 1998 p108
"The close helmets of the Zeughaus serve the function of masks.  They show a dehumanized, rigid physiognomy which hides the true face.  Emotions are not legible apart from the stylized expression which characterizes the helmet.  Whether the soldier is fearful or brave, whether he is sweating and exhausted from the exertion of battle or whether he has managed to conserve his strength -- his opponent discerns nothing from surface appearances.  The individual has become unapproachable, his personal bearing unperceptible." [SIC]