Visit to the Royal Armoury and Army Museum in Stockholm
My research into the Swedish army in the 16th and 17th Centuries requires me to visit the archives in Stockholm, however on my last trip I changed my plans and decided to visit the Royal Armoury and the Army museum as I had not visited either for a long time. I took a lot of photos but being unfamiliar with the camera i used and lacking the skills necessary to take good photgraphs of items kept in poor light behind glass a lot of them turned out to be of low quality. Here is a selection of the best the phots which I hope you will enjoy.

As a former artilleryman I've always had an interest in the cannon used by my predecessors in the regiment. The bronze cannon of the 16th and 17th Centuries are a favourite of mine as they often were a deadly combinnation of effciency and art.

This half-falconet was made in 1559 for the Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order by Karten Middledorp of Lübeck, it was captured by the Swedes as they intervened in the Livonian War after the Teutonic Orders rule in Livonia collapsed in 1560-1561. It fired 1/2 pound lead shot rather than iron shot.

A Danish 6-pound "Schlange" (aka Culverine) from 1543, the cannon next to it is Polish 3-pound falconet. A "schlange" was noted for it's long barrel compared to that of a ordinary cannon of the same calibre.

This Polish Falconet is a superb sample of the 16th Century cannon makers art. A 3-pounder cast in 1557 by Osvaldus Baldnerus of Nürnberg. The inscriptions on the barrel note contain the following text:
"I shake the towers, strike down the walls and destroy the hosts.
I am called falconet. Fear me and flee"

In an effort to create a cannon which possed both effective firepower and mobility Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden experimented with a series of 'leather cannon' in 1627-1630. The cannon were made by surrounding a thin barrel of iron or copper with layers of wire, rope, canvas and leather.
The only leather cannon preserved in a Swedish collection is the prototype made by Captain Ludwig Ripp in 1628. However Ripps cannon was not accepted into service. and he instead presented it as a gift to Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna. The gun barrel became a part of the collection of arms&armour in the armoury of Tidö palace a collection which later became a part of the Royal Armoury.

The 'Leather cannon' were found to be very prone to overheating when in action and were abandonded in 1630 in favour of light 3-pound regimental cannon made of bronze. The numerous regimental cannon provided the Swedish army with a significant advantage in firepower for the next 30 years. None of the orignal 1630's cannon have survived to this day.
This is a Swedish regimental cannon from the last quarter fo the 17th Century.

End part I

Last edited by Daniel Staberg on Mon 19 May, 2008 4:35 pm; edited 1 time in total

Wheellock pistols from the Army museum's collection.

Polish firelocks and wheellocks looted by the Swedes. The top two guns are labled as "haiduk guns" in the original documents and are probably of the type known as 'rushnica' in 17th Century Poland.
Swords & a sabre
Two poor quality pictures of a sabre taken by Gustavus Adolphus in combat with a Polish hussar in 1627.
The King used the sabre himself during the campaigns of 1627-1629. The sabre is actualy A Russian weapon dated to about 1600 and had probably been taken was war booty by Poles in the Russo_Polish warfare during the Time of Troubles in Russia during the early 17th Century.

Cavalry swords from the 17th Century on display at the Army museum

A German cavalry sword from 1600, this type of Sword was common in both German and Dutch units of the period

A 1620's hilt which has been fitted with a new blade made in Solingen in 1652. The blade has an engraved picture of Gustavus Adolphus.

A sword in the Dutch-Swedish style made in Sweden at Vira Bruk in the 1640's

An officers sword in the Dutch-Swedish style, it used to hang over a grave in the chruch of the village of Yttergran.

Two Swedish cavalry swords from the 1640's
A selection of 17th Century infantry swords on display at the Army museum


A sallet, burgonet, close-helmet and late 16th-Century morion at the Royal armoury

A helmet belonging to Wladyslaw IV of Poland-Lithuania which was taken by the Swdes when they looted the Royal Polish armoury in 1655.

Gustavus Adolphus massive musket-proof siege helmet which weighs almost 16 kilos

More loot from Poland, in front a armoru made for young Prince Wladyslaw and behidn it a full size armour made for him as King of Poland.

A fine suit of Cuirassier armour belonging to Duke Frederick of Courland, taken by the Swdes when the captured the Ducla armoury in Mitau in 1621.

Two suits of cuirassier armour from the 1610-1630 period, the first is in the Royal Armoury and the second is displayed in the Army museum.

'Pot' or 'Hungarian Pot' and back and breastplate of the type issued to Swedish "light horsemen" (aka Demi-cuirassiers) in the later part of the 30-Years war.

The buffcoat worn by Gustavus Adolphus when he was wounded during the battle of Dirschau 1627. The sleeves are made of silk rather than leather. This buffcoat was intended to worn as a fundation garment for heavier armour. The tear at the neck shows were the king was hit by a musket ball which lodged in his right shoulder. At first it was believed that the King was mortally wounded, the intial impact was so shocking that Gustavus though he had had his arm shot away by round shot from a cannon. However once the surgeons were able to treat the wound it was found to be serious but not fatal. However it was impossible to remove the musket ball and due to this Gustavus was unable to wear metal armour as preassure on the ball caused severe pain. He also partly lost the use of several fingers on his right hand.

Unable to wear a metal cuirass Gustavus was forced to rely on well made buffcoats as his only protection in battle. However they provided no protection against firearms and gustavus was mortaly wounded by a pistol shot in the back during the during the battle of Lützen in 1632. His buffcoat was taken as a trophy by the Impeiral cuirassiers and put on display in the Imperial armory in Vienna. However after World War I it was returned to Sweden as symbol of gratitude for the humantarian aid provided to Austria.

The buffcoat is in good condition but is missing most of it silk lining and linen interlining as well as all of it's buttons. It was mostlikely made in England as the records show that Gustavus prefered English buffcoat makers and made repeated purchases from them.

The Swedish trophy collection is the worlds largest collection of battlefield trophies with more than 3000 items. Improper storage have resulted in a lot of damge to the flags and cornets over the centuries and in may cases only shreds remain of the colours under which men marched, fought and died. These cavalry cornets show a glimpse effort which was out into the colours carried by the cavalry.


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