• 2 Złote 2009, Y# 670, Poland, History of Polish Cavalry, Hussar
  • 2 Złote 2009, Y# 670, Poland, History of Polish Cavalry, Hussar
Description

The Polish cavalry can trace its origins back to the days of medieval mounted knights. Poland is mostly a country of flatlands and fields and mounted forces operate well in this environment. The knights and heavy horse cavalry gradually evolved into many different types of specialised mounted military formations, some of which heavily influenced western warfare and military science. This series of coins details the evolution of Polish cavalry from the times of mounted knights and heavy winged hussars, through the times of light uhlans to mounted infantry equipped with ranged and mêlée weapons.

Obverse

An image of the eagle established as the state emblem of the Republic of Poland; on the sides of the eagle the notation of the year of issue; below the eagle an inscription ZŁ 2 ZŁ, in the rim an inscription, RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA, preceded and followed by six pearls. The mint's mark, M/W, under the eagle's left leg.

Designer: Ewa Tyc-Karpińska

RZECZPOSPOLITA POLSKA
20 09
ZŁ 2 ZŁ

Reverse

A stylized image of the hussar of the 17th century, on horseback, in armor, with the hussar's wing and leopard skin on the back, carrying a lance with a pennant.

The Polish Hussars, or Winged Hussars, were one of the main types of the cavalry in Poland and in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth between the 16th and 18th centuries. Modeled on the Hungarian Hussars, the early hussars were light cavalry of exiled Serbian warriors; by the second half of the 16th century and after king Stephen Báthory's reforms, hussars transformed into a heavily armored shock cavalry. Until the reforms of the 1770s, the husaria banners were considered the elite of the Polish cavalry.

The Hussars were famous for their huge "wings", a wooden frame carrying eagle, ostrich, swan or goose feathers. In the 16th century, characteristic painted wings or winged claws began to appear on cavalry shields. The most common theory is that the hussars wore the wings because they made a loud, clattering noise which made it seem like the cavalry was much larger than in reality and frightened the enemy's horses. Other possibilities included the wings being made to defend the backs of the men against swords and lassos, or that they were worn to make their own horses deaf to the wooden noise-makers used by the Ottoman and the Crimean Tatars.

Designer: Andrzej Nowakowski

HUSARZ - XVII w.
AN

Edge

Eight times repeated inscription: NBP, every second one inverted by 180 degrees, separated by stars.

NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★ NBP ★

Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Nordic Gold
Weight 8.15 g
Diameter 27 mm
Thickness 2 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mint
Warsaw Mint (M/W)

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