Belavin A. M., Krylasova N. B., Podosenova Y. A. The “hungarian type” sabretache plates from the Volga-Kama region (.pdf)


In the 9–11th centuries, on the vast area of Europe from the Urals in the east to Hungary and Scandinavia in the west, belt pouches / purses came into fashion. They usually supplemented costumes of noble men. It is likely that the fashion had its origins in the Urals. From that territory, the Hungarians brought that fashion to their new homeland, and the merchants of the Volga Bulgaria spread it far to the west along the Volga trade route. In Hungary, those medieval pouches were developed further – especially valuable specimens were decorated with gilded silver plates with embossed ornament. In the culture of the Hungarian “conquest of the homeland” period, sabretaches with plates were an indispensable part of a noble warrior’s costume, and served as a sign of his high social status. In Russia, sabretache plates are rare. The paper deals with new discoveries of similar products on the territory of the Cis-Urals and suggests that they were produced locally. This conjecture is supported by several technological and stylistic features that distinguish pouches belonging to the “Ural-Hungarian” toreutics from the Hungarian ones. Belts with pouches, especially decorated with sabretache plates, were a prestigious costume element, demonstrating a certain social status of the owner, who usually belonged to the elite, in particular, to the retinue and tradesmen stratum.


Key words: Eastern Europe, Perm Region, Middle Ages, belt pouches, sabretaches, sabretache plates.


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