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Turkish, Damascus blade with a smooth cut. On the external side of the blade, at the base, there is a gold-embossed Eastern inscription in the cartouche with fleurons. A closed hilt. A gilded crossguard decorated with a Rococo medallion, and additionally fitted with a plastic ornament at the end of its arms and terminals. A guard bent at a straight angle leading up to the pommel, gilded and niello with floral motifs.

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Turkish, Damascus blade with a smooth cut. On the external side of the blade, at the base, there is a gold-embossed Eastern inscription in the cartouche with fleurons. A closed hilt. A gilded crossguard decorated with a Rococo medallion, and additionally fitted with a plastic ornament at the end of its arms and terminals. A guard bent at a straight angle leading up to the pommel, gilded and niello with floral motifs. The grip is lined with a bright horn, with vertical reinforcement in the middle made of a gold vertical stripe decorated with niello from the top crossguard terminal to the pommel. The pommel has a gold almond-shaped hood. The wooden scabbard covered with black shagreen features fittings of a gilded silver plate. A low neck with a profiled nest for the crossguard terminals and a decorative floral motif at the extension. Two ryfka fittings with a movable carrying ring for the rapcie straps are decorated with a kind of medallion. A shoe with a window is decorated with the same motifs as the other fittings.
The sabre was made by an Armenian craftsmen, and gathered in the workshops of Lviv and its vicinity, often referred to as the Lviv factory. Apart from the high technical value, the weapons produced there were distinguished by their unique decorations combining Eastern motifs (mainly from Turkey and Persia) and European motifs, which suited the tastes of the Sarmatian buyers.

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 sabre

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