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The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps.

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The armour is made of iron sheet; at the edges and faulds it is lined with brass borders covered with repoussé and stamped pearls. Under the rivets there are laid brass rosettes decorated in the same way as the borders. A helmet has a semi-circular skull, a peak with a nasal bar, a fauld neck guard and cheek pieces with a heart-shaped cut. A five-fauld breastplate with a fishbone in the middle tied with two leather straps. On the chest there are two circular brass appliqués with an openwork knight’s cross. A collarbone guard is made of two plates, cut to a point and tied to the right shoulder. On the front collarbone plate there is a brass cut and a repoussé openwork knight’s cross. There are eight-fauld pads with a profiled fishbone in the middle. At the end, the faulds are indented, the bottom one has an affixed leather strap for tying over the arm. There are Karwasz arm guards with a profiled fishbone on the scoops and lined with borders at the edges. The two-piece bracelets with hinges are decorated with borders in the same way as the scoops.
This is a classic older type Hussar armour dating back to the years 1640—1675. The applied decoration gives the Hussar armour its originality, consisting of the contrasting combination of silver iron and golden brass, which was used to make the borders on the edges of the structural elements, as well as the ornaments and emblems.

Elaborated by Piotr Wilkosz (The National Museum in Kraków), © all rights reserved

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Legendary hussar wings

The legendary wings that stimulated the imagination of film-makers, painters and many others were characteristic decorations of the hussar armour.

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The legendary wings that stimulated the imagination of film-makers, painters and many others were characteristic decorations of the hussar armour.
What were they actually used for? Historians proved that they were not used in battles. They neither protected a hussar from being taken down from a horse with a Tatar lariat (a long rope with a loop) nor did they serve to frighten the horses of their opponents. Who would hear the sound of wings in the heat of a battle, with clashing weapons? The use of wings in battle would have prevented the famous sword cut “from above the head.” Hussar wings were usually used during parades and funerals of grand figures, perhaps, also shortly before the battle as a psychological weapon.
Irrespective of their actual function, they became a symbol of grand Polish victories and are frequent motifs in art and military signs and badges, especially in the Polish Air Force. From 1936, in the aviation of the Republic of Poland, a new pattern of an eagle supplemented with a pair of hussar wings was introduced. This pattern can be seen on our website from the collection of the Home Army Museum: aviation cap Eagle of war veterans.

Elaborated by Kinga Kołodziejska (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
Licencja Creative Commons

 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.

Also worth seeing are the remaining elements of a hussar’s equipment from the collection of the National Museum in Kraków:
Hussar half-armour
Hussar sabre

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Hussar half-armour

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Półzbroja husarska odc. A Tells: Piotr Krasny
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Półzbroja husarska [audiodeskrypcja] Tells: Fundacja na Rzecz Rozwoju Audiodeskrypcji KATARYNKA
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Półzbroja husarska odc. B Tells: Piotr Krasny
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