Hussar Helmets on Display in 1896
The 1896 Millennium festivities were a set of celebrations that took place in Budapest between May 2, 1896, and October 31, 1896, to celebrate the official anniversary of the “Home Taking” (896 A.D.), that is to say, the “conquest of the fatherland”, the founding date of the Hungarian nation in the Carpathian Basin.
Many Hungarian archeological items were being displayed, there were weapons, armors, and helmets among them. They were borrowed for the exhibition from several museums and collections of the Austrian-Hungarian Monarchy and from Europe. Many photographs were taken about them and lots of them were painted or drawn, printed for magazines.
Unfortunately, the majority of these items have got scattered or lost during the two world wars so these photos and illustrations are very valuable for us now. This time, I would like to show you three particular painted illustrations about helmets and a few sabers. The paintings were made after the exhibited items.
The first picture:
3. the helmet of Zrinyi Miklós aka Nikola Zrinski († 1566), fortunately, we still have this helmet in a museum. The helmet was registered in Ferdinand’s collection in 1586.
4. a Hungarian helmet, used for hussar tournaments from the 16th century, made of iron, painted into green and red; it is supplied with an iron mask that was painted and decorated with a beard made of horse hair. These are from the collection of Ferdinand of Tirol, Ambras, and originally had been used on the Hungarian tournaments taking place in Prague in 1549 and 1557.
6. a silver Turkish helmet, gilded, from the 16th century, from the Vienna collection.
7. a Turkish-like helmet from the 16th century, made of iron, painted black. It is from the collection of the Esterházy family from Fraknó castle. You can read more about Fraknó Castle here:
8–9. Hungarian helmets from the 16th century.
The second picture:
1. the helmet of Zrinyi Miklós (Nikola Zrinski) according to the contemporary etching of Boldizsár Jenichen; it is identical to the original helmet that is in Vienna now;
2. the helmet of Duke Charles of Lorraine († 1690) It is a Hungarian work that was made about 1580. Gilded, with precious stones; from Vienna;
3. a saber from the 18th century, its blade has a mark of Damascus; its scabbard is covered by black leather and reinforced with copper. Original: in Hungarian National Museum, Budapest;
4. a saber from the 16th century, drawn after the tombstone of Lord Csetneki István;
5. a cavalry helmet from the 18th century. These helmets were from the age of Eugene of Savoy but they were given to the cuirassiers and the dragoons during the Ottoman wars of Emperor Joseph II in 1788-89. The original is in Vienna.
6. a Hussar helmet from the 17th century, painted into bright black; there is a mark “4M” in the nose-piece. The original is in the Hungarian National Museum.
The third picture:
8–15. Hungarian helmets from the 16th-17th centuries. The #8 is a Hussar helmet painted into the black from the first part of the 17th century; the #9 is the same, painted into the blue from the last years of the 17th century; the #10 is the same just painted into black and from the first part of the 17th century; the # 11 and # 12 are Hussar helmets from the middle of the 17th century, looking it from the side and from the front; the # 12 is a cavalry helmet from the second half of the 17th century, painted into the black; the #14 is the same, made about 1630; the #15 is black, too, made in the mid-17th century; All of them are from Graz, Austria.
Source: Arcanum https://www.arcanum.hu/hu
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