Friday, January 3, 2014

Old Polish saddle - Certamen equestre





Salve,
 some time (here and here) ago I talked a little bit about and posted several images form Certamen Equestre, king Charles XI splendid horse & rider carnival of 1672. Georg C. Eimmart was he author of the prints of horses and riders taking part in this festival.
From the 70 or so plates  I selected detailed images of Polish saddles ('siodło'), from the plates showing the Polish 'delegation,'  as shown by the artist.

These are parade saddles from Poland, either war booty or gifts form Polish monarchs or magnates.


 Below a short introduction into Polish terminology for these saddles and their parts.
'Łęk' was a name for a front (pommel) and rear (cantle) of the saddle already in XVI century, yet already during 1500a there was a name used (in Latin text) spelled 'ląck' that could have represented 'a saddle tree covered in   leather'(speculated Zygulski jr in his article on saddles) and   by XVIII century  it was a distinctive saddle type, eg XVIII former Bar Confederacy soldier, priest and writer Kitowicz*.
Presently we have been using a name 'terlica' for a saddle tree, but in XVIII century it was also a type of saddle used in Poland.
 Name 'kulbaka,' from Turkish, seems not to have existed in XVI century as a name for a distinctive  horse saddle, and became popular in XVIII century. It is still used as a name for a military/cowboy style saddle.
'Rząd' or 'rządzik' was the name used for the whole assembly of horse furniture, i.e., the saddle, breastplate, bridle (bit, reins, bridle), stirrups, cinch and crouper.   Presently in Polish horse terminology  word 'rząd'  means all the above with the exception of the saddle, stirrups and cinch.
Here, along with the splendid reconstructions of Duchy o Warsaw uhlans,  you can have a very detailed description of the Polish horse terminology for a cavalry bridle of the Napoleonic period drawn by my friend Zuzu.

These details show Old Polish saddles - mostly of the jarczak  type (siodło kozackie) and several of husaria type (siodło ussarskie)  etc.
Royal city of Lwów (now Lviv) was the centre of more elaborate saddle making in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, but we also have documents surviving for the cities of Kraków and Poznań, where saddle-makers guilds were prominent.


















enjoy

* from Kitowicz:
 łęk, terlica, jarczak i turecka kulbaka, co wszystko podpadało pod imię powszechne "kulbaki". Łęk był o dwu kulach równych, z przodu i z tylu w góro podniesionych, między które kule siadał jeździec na poduszkę skórzaną, sierścią bydlęcą wypchaną, rzemieniem pod brzuch konia przechodzącym przywiązaną. Terlica była o jednej kuli, z przodu w górę wydanej, i o ławce okrągłej, z tylu na ćwierć łokcia szerokiej, z poduszką w środku takąż jak i łęk. Jarczak była terlica albo lęk gładki, skórą obklejony, bez poduszki, na którym jarczaku chłopcy, ciurowie i towarzystwo rękodajni do twardego siedzenia na koniu bywali przyuczani; turecka kulbaka była podobna do terlicy z tą tylko różnicą, iż przednia kula była wyższa i ostrzejsza, a zadnia lawa szersza; miasto zaś poduszki cały wierszch kulbaki miękko wnusiem końskim wysłany i suknem powleczony; i takiego najwięcej siądzenia husarze do potrzeby zażywali.

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