Weapons - Vambrace
Suleiman I (or Suleyman), "the Magnificent” (1494 – 1566)
Steel: damascened, fabric, silver
Size: Length: 59 cm
Origin and time: Ottoman Empire, around 1560
KHM (Museum of Fine Arts), Vienna
Inv. No. C 153
Vambraces (Ofr for avantbras, from avant = before and bras = arm) can be traced back to the period between the late 14th century and the mid-18th century in Iran, India and the Ottoman Empire. Their design allowed easy movement as well as air to circulate freely.
The exhibited damascened vambrace is ornamented with rosette rivets and bands of gold brocade riveted to it. The mitten attached to the arm defence is ornamented by red and gold brocade, too.
Suleiman I (or Suleyman), "the Magnificent", Ottoman Sultan, is said to have been the most fortunate of the sultans and was also referred to as “kanuni”, the law giver, by his own people. Having inherited a well-organized country, a disciplined army and a full treasury, he created a humongous empire with territory spread over large parts of western Asia, northern Africa, and south-eastern Europe. His legacy was to impact and influence the rest of the world.
Under his rule, the number of schools was increased, the clerical class of the Ulema was reorganised in its hierarchical order, the administration of the country was reformed and improved both in a civil and in a military sense and a new and improved system for the feudal tenures introduced. Despite the fact that his empire stretched over three continents, Suleiman was able to create a government ruling successfully over the many different cultures and peoples. He helped to construct a system of government that kept order, collected revenues, and maintained effective military forces. Further success was a legal reform and a new system of government.