Sixteenth Century Cavalry 1575-1600
Weapons Accoutrements Horse Furniture
To the left we see the frontispiece of a book of cavalry illustrations by Jacob De Gheyn II from about 1599.  He has used the various pieces of a cavalryman's weapons and equipment as decorative elements in his design. 

Starting at the top center we see the saddle viewed from the front.  It has a very high cantle and pommel (front and back) and was made to hold the rider firmly in his seat.  It is highly padded on the seat for comfort.  Next we see the triangular and ball-butted grips of two pistols in holsters.  This pistols would have had long barrels and a wheellock mechanism to fire them.  They would have been carried in leather holsters which were attached to the pommel of the saddle.  A stirrup is attached to the saddle by its leathers.  Note that it is more trapeziodal than a modern stirrup.  On the right is a cavalryman (probably a pistoleer) wearing that distinctive long coat so typical for horsemen of the period.  It is fastened with frogs and decorated with bands of trimming on the body and hanging sleeves (which are little more than strips of cloth).  At his feet is a powder flask and lead shot for his firearms and just below that the grip of a lance.  The lance has a very narrow grip and a short, broad counterweight portion (better seem on the grip on the opposite side) that served to counterbalance the weight of the 16-18 foot lance.  Continuing clockwise around the picture (above the other lance grip) are grooming tools, a brush and currycomb.  The brush is a standard small bristled hand brush similar to those still used today.  The currycomb is somewhat different the modern models.  It has a handle which attaches to a straight, double toothed blade.  The forked tool in that grouping is a farrier's I believe although I don't know its purpose as yet.  Finally we come to a fulling armored cavalryman who is wearing the "ideal" harness that few, if any horsemen achieved.  He has a burgonet helmet with falling buffe, full upper armor (gorget, arms breast and back), tassets, greaves and sabatons.  In reality most cavalrymen wore a lot less armor than that.  He holds a curb bit and reins in his hand.

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