Cossack Niello Silver Belt Shashka Kindjal Original Caucasus Russia Rare
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Cossack Niello Silver Belt Shashka Kindjal Original Caucasus Russia Rare:
Offered here is a RARE Silver belt made for a Cossack or Russian. This belt dates to the turn of the 19th/20th century. The belt is made from silver and leather. The silver is fashioned in niello, also known as CHERN (чернь.) Niello is a type of decoration where a blackenamelis worked into the silver and when polished produces a very pleasing two-toned effect. Niello offers great when done by a masters hand. At first glance this belt seems of a type produced in the Caucasus or Circassia (черкес.) This style of niello was predominant all through Russia as well as North Persia and Anatolia. What is telling is that the finials for the buckle terminate in Zoomorphic Double Eagle Heads! This is a clear sign that the consumer was a Cossack or of Russian background. To further stress this point the Double Eagle Heads are both flanked by Silver Ruble coins that show the Imperial Double Eagle! The work is a tad naive, but it is done very well and tastefully with an eye towardsymmetryand restrained lavishness. It is important to remember that a belt like this was not only for decorative or practical use, but it was an important status symbol. One's wealth and social position, and arguably political position, were demonstrated by the amount of silver or gold worn as accouterments on one's person. For males in this culture, weapons like the shashka (curved saber) and kindjal (dagger) as well as pistols and long guns were at timesheavilycovered with silver, gold or even precious stones depending on the owner's wealth to show the status and importance of the man. These silver andbejeweledweapons were in essence "male jewelry" (very deadly jewelry) and were worn then in as much to show the owner's wealth andsocietalpositionas today one would wear a ROLEX watch or drive a MERCEDES or BENTLEY automobile to show their affluence and/or position. The wearing of silver of this sort was not done only by males, but also by females; though, not having any status themselves, females showed off the wealth and position of their husbands/family/clan by the amount of silver or gold they wore or with which they were adorned. It is also true that Horses were decorated, with fine tack in silver and possibly gold, in much the same way as women were adorned to show the male owner's wealth and position. This belt is HEAVY, it weighs just around 1 pound ( approx. 500 grams.) There are two Imperial Russian SilverRublecoins that are near the size of American Silver Dollar Coins. There are what appear to be Ottoman Turk coins, this may be another clue as to the origin of the belt. There are alsopyramidstuds andMaltesetype crosses and other fancy bosses that adorn this belt. The belt is COMPLETE and ORIGINAL! It is rare to find such items in good condition as theattritionrate for leather over the years is staggering. The interlacing of the fittings on the back is sound and the leather is soft and pliable. It also would not have been uncommon to remove the fittings and sell/trade them as financial necessities dictated. A silver belt like this also would have been an easy way to move tangible assets. In areas of strife or limitedresourcesthe easy conveyance and dispositionof specie or precious metal would have been of greatconvenience. The length of the belt from tip to tip is 85 cm (33.46 inch.) The widest point is 6 cm (2.3 inch) at the buckle. Again, the belt weighs just around one pound avoirdupois (approx. 500 grams) total. PLEASE DON'T MISS IT! This is a rareopportunityto own a fine antique that would be equally at home in a Russian/Cossack weapon collection or with ethnological/fine silver. SHIPPING IS FREE IN THE USA! International shipping will cost $25 (USD) and we WILL SHIP ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD USPS WILL DELIVER. PLEASE NOTE there are NO RETURNS for International Purchase. Other shipping options are available at cost, please inquire. PLEASE do ask any and all questions. We thank you very much for looking and Good Luck. (Again, please note, this sale is for the Belt ONLY. The Kindjal (dagger) and rug displayed are NOT being sold with this sale. Thank you.)