Traditional Russian horse jewelry
Since ancient times, people have sought to decorate their faithful friends – horses, which were with them in peacetime and wartime, helped with the housework and were the main means of transportation. The owners did not spare precious metals, pearls and silk for jewelry.
Russian masters created real masterpieces of ammunition for both horse riding and sledding. Saddlers working in the workshops of the Konyushenny Dvor in the 17th century made bridles from silk braid or goatskin, complementing them with gilded or copper plaques.
The horses’ heads were decorated with a hook made of silk fabric and decorated with balls and tassels. On holidays, the reins were changed to chains of silver rings, which rang when riding. Under the horse’s neck, nauses were attached – one or more brushes on a cord. In the sciences, it was customary to keep amulets. They could be decorated with pearls, gold or silver threads.
Sometimes on horses one could find decoration made of ostrich feathers inserted into a tube of gold or silver.
A beautiful plate was often attached to the forehead of the bridle, which not only decorated, but also protected the animal in battle.
The cost of accessories made with precious metals could well have been higher than the price of the horse itself. Such horse jewelry was available only to wealthy people.
The Russian troika team is famous all over the world. Horse clamps and arches were adorned with elaborate painting. At first, the arcs were covered with gold paint, which stood out brightly against the background of fields and forests. In the second half of the 19th century, arcs appeared, painted with patterns using green, blue, red and other saturated colors. The harness was complemented by tassels that hung down the front and sides of the horses.