Christian V’s robe

Riding was one of Christian 5th’s most important skills. He rode every day, and he was on horseback both at war and at festival tournaments. This is one of his riding costumes. It is both practical and opulent. Perhaps he wore it at the tournament in 1696 which was held in honor of his 50th birthday.

The coat is a good example of riding clothes from the 17th century. It is knee-length and with rounded skirts which cover and protect his legs, and drape attractively over the saddle behind him. The coat’s skirt is slit at the back for ease of mounting and dismounting. In front the coat is closely fitted, without loose parts which can catch in branches when riding.

The coat has fitted sleeves with large, turned up cuffs revealing tightly buttoned undersleeves in a contrasting pattern. The coat itself is made of red woolen cloth and embroidered all over with gold thread. It is fastened with large, stitched gold buttons. On the left breast is the ornately embroidered star of the Order of the Elephant in silver.