The Viennese collection numbers among the best of its kind in the world. Furthermore, it is the best-documented collection of court arms and armour in the western world, since the exhibits were generally created or acquired in connection with important political occasions: on the occasion of military campaigns, Imperial Diets, ceremonies of homage, coronations, engagements, marriages and baptisms.
No family of rulers was connected by marriage with so many European countries as were the Habsburgs. For this reason, nearly all western European princes from the 15th to the early 20th centuries are represented with armour and ornamental weapons.
The suits of armour are custom creations made by the most famous armourers: the Armour for a Horseman by Tommaso Missaglia, the Cuirassier Armour by Lorenz Helmschmid for Emperor Maximilian I, the Boy's Folded Skirt Armour by Konrad Seusenhofer for the future Emperor Charles V, as well as the Half-Armour alla Romana by Filippo Negroli and many others. The often magnificent etchings were quite frequently based on designs by such famous artists as Dürer and Holbein.