SOLD Antique late 16/ 17th century Polish Hussar Breastplate Armor
SOLD Extremely rare Authentic Antique, late 16th - early 17th century (over 400-Year-Old), Polish Hussar breastplate armor of anima type in characteristic form composed of multiple plates with a medial crease. The breast, constructed of hand forged steel seven shaped upward-lapping lames decorated with domed rivets. The arms opening fitted with gussets with inward turned rolls. Top of breastplate fitted with gorget plate with turned edges adorned with four brass domed rivets and pierced with the holes at the shoulder for the leather belts. The fauld is from two protruding separates plates with the opening on the center.
This type of the early hussar breastplate armor was placed on the equipment of Polish hussars by the warrant of the Polish King of Poland Stefan Batory (1575–86) with recommendation to wear the breastplate on the chainmail armour. So the hussar in this early period time wore mostly only breastplate without a back plate and with leopard (sometimes tiger, jaguar or lion) pelt over his back.
There are not very many authentic antiques of this type of early hussar breastplates preserved to the present day as well in Polish museums. According to references, only few being most likely less than four since these early models they were replaced by newer models of hussar breastplates constructed of 3-5 lower lames and the one upper plate. The early models of the hussar armours were recycled for scrap metal, so they are so rare.
Links to view related hussar breastplate armor from the collection of the Polish Army Museum (Muzeum Wojska Polskiego) in Warsaw online:
1. Husaria Polska by Zdzislaw Zygulski jun.
2. Husaria The Winged Horsemen by Anna Wasilkowska. Please see the last picture attached to the listing.
3.Fenomen husarii by Radosław Sikora
CONDITION: In its 100% original condition, showing age and usage, slightly pitted overall, with a dark patina, crack in the right shoulder with an old period of time repair, most likely damaged during the combat.
Height (approximately): 42.5 cm (16.73 inches)
Width (at the widest point): 36.5 cm (14.37 inches)
WEIGHT: 2.085 kg (4.597 lb)
Most hussar armour which appeared on the market in the last 10 years are reproductions as well as other 17th to 18th century Polish arms and armour, including swords, maces, helmets, armour, etc.
After the collapse of communism in Poland in 1989, Poland transformed to a western-style economy, many Poles in Poland and in the western world got richer and started to collect antiques, particularly associated with Poland. In these circumstances to cover the demand of collectors for Antique Polish arms and armor, some artisans particularly those in Poland and neighboring Eastern Europe countries, started to make reproductions of historical Polish arms and armour based off authentic objects, professionally aged, corroded, and damaged, to look old and authentic. Then they distributed these products throughout Europe and North America where they were presented for sale as authentic Polish antiques, arms, and armour. These items, in many cases, are very well made and aged and look almost as the authentic 17th century Polish arms and armour. From this time, the market is flooded by these reproductions of polish antique arms and armour which prior to this procedure, were considered as the rarest objects and almost impossible items to acquire. These reproductions do not have any historical, or investment value.
We were fortunate to acquire this helmet together with other Polish antiques, including antique Polish arms and armour from an old Canadian collection formed prior to the time when this procedure started. We had attached to the listing a picture of this armour displayed in this collection, which we had taken at the time of the purchasing of this collection, showing this armour together with the szyszak and the hussars swords.
The armour is with its original ticket label from the well-known English auction house, Wallis & Wallis 210 High Street, Lewes. This ticket is from the sale when the armour was acquired in the 50s.
This is an example of a rare authentic antique Polish hussar armour from the late 16th - early 17th century, and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity.