Saturday, February 23, 2013

Drawings at Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie

 Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie (The National Archive in Krakow) has been digitizing their collections, and many of these drawings showing historical objects are of great interest to us, aficionados of horse, horse tack and cavaliers associated with the historic horsemanship.

These coloured, watercolor and pencil, drawings showing horse tack were done by a Polish painter Walery Eljasz Radzikowski, prolific illustrator and painter of XIX century partitioned Poland. Here, samples of his work - paintings and illustration etc



First, the saddles . Here a saddle with a matching pistol holster

    For comparison  a photo of an actual XVII century Polish saddle from the Lwów Museum Przemyslowe (pre-1939)

   Saddle of grand hetman Stanisław Jan Jabłonowski - one image from the digitalized Cracow Archive drawing and one from a magazine print from XIX century, both by Eliasz-Radzikowski. Note the precious stones, gilded metal parts, perhaps gold thread brocade, wide stirrups,
here we have hetman's entire horse tack suit - the bridle  with its exquisite metal and precious stone work, while the curb-bit is of the so called Moorish type aka Morisco type

Horse tack of Jan III Sobieski
  metal net -part of the bridle and a horse tug - this particular style of horse head adornment can be seen in XVI-XVIII centuries art showing Ottoman Turkish and Polish-Hungarian horses and their tack.
 breastplate and crouper - metal 'scales' most likely gilded

Variety of horse tack: detail of the breastplate and crouper - imagine how it shone and sparkled with the sunlight, being gilded metal

 bridle (not throatlatch); breastplate and crouper -details

 crouper and a halzbant (hanging from its strap - part of the bridle)
 details of a bridle, entire crouper, detail of a breastplate

Curb-bits - details

many thanks to Archiwum Narodowe w Krakowie for allowing me to share with you these great records of historic Polish (albeit Tatar and Turkish influenced) horse tack.

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