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Rudolf and Ernest of Austria

Rudolf and Ernest of Austria are dressed identically, with a white silk doublet (‘jubón’) beneath a sleeveless jerkin (‘coleto’ or ‘cuera’). The enclosed and protective effect of the leather jerkin imitates a military breastplate and this tight-fitting style, which became standard attire for Elizabethan courtiers in England, is first associated with Spain. Rapiers are worn suspended from a sword belt on each wearer’s left, with a dagger on the right. The decorative gold hilt of each sword is shown in detail, while the practical killing element is hidden in the dark shadows behind.