Reproduction based on the parade cuirass of Hierta
In the spring of 2007 Via Armorari made a Caroline parade cuirass based on Johan Hierta’s cuirass, and with details from other parade cuirasses from more or less the same period. The emblem of the breast plate is original, but apart from that everything has been manufactured using authentic models. The customer has made the lining himself, and also carried out all sewing.
Investigation and documentation was made of the original in the private Hierta chapel in Munsö church, as well as of originals in private collections and in the storehouse of the Royal Armoury. In order to attain the correct feel with regard to the shape, and to make it possible to compare various details such as rolled edges, sets of holes, forging techniques and surface finishes, it was extremely valuable to be able to look at and examine this many originals. Choices concerning the various details have been made during the course of the process in cooperation with the customer.
After measuring up the customer, who wishes to be able to wear the cuirass, templates have been produced and then a suitable plate has been cut in accordance with the template. The cuirass is manually hot forged in its entirety in a coal forge. This means that one both gets a dynamic plate thickness, which is felt, and that one after grinding and polishing still can see some hammer marks and impressions caused by surface slagg in the same manner as for the originals. After rough forging a first fitting is carried out. Then adjustments are made and edges are rolled. Lining holes are made and riveting holes are chiselled in order to achieve a credible result. Breast and back parts are fitted in and buckles are made and temporarily fitted in place. A second fitting is then carried out in order to check whether any further adjustments are necessary or not. Then all parts are ground, or filed if grinding is not possible. In the original design these cuirasses were ground on water-driven grindstones, and filed in places hard to access. Then the surface is polished and buckles and straps are riveted into place. Finally the position of the emblem was decided in consort with the customer, whereupon it was carefully riveted into place using rivets that can easily be taken out without damaging the original.