Covering the period from the 13th to the end of the15th centuries, the collection of artifacts and objects of everyday life from the Golden Horde Khanate contains items produced in all regions of this enormous state, which stretched from the Danube to the River Irtysh in Siberia. As an important part of the Eurasian artistic heritage, this splendid collection demonstrates how the art of the Golden Horde influenced the development of Eastern European art during the height of the medieval era.
Coins and gold and silver objects from the second half of the 13th century were found at the settlements of Bulgar, Sarai-Berke (the first capital of the Golden Horde Khanate) and Solkhat. Of particular interest are a gold belt-cup (kovsh) with a handle in the form of a dragon's head, and belt fittings with the tamga (heraldic emblem) of the Batu family, found at the site of Gashun-Usta in the Northern Caucasus. A famous vessel with handles in the form of dolphins was obviously for the khan's personal use. We should also mention the silver facings of a 13th-century Mongol saddle found near the town of Melithopolis, in the western part of the Russian steppes.
The most interesting finds of the late 13th and the first half of 14th centuries are pieces of pottery, bronze mirrors, numerous cast pieces, vessels for quicksilver, and female jewellery. The pride of the collection are tiles for the facing of buildings, and a group of vessels made of half-faience bearing cobalt under-glaze painting. Valuable items of this period were discovered at Solkhat, including a glazed cup with a scene of a feast in a pomegranate garden executed in the sgraffito (Ital.) technique: the image was scratched into the upper layer of the vessel's walls - made of two layers, each in a different colour - such that it reveals the colour of the lower layer.
Found on the banks of the Volga was the burial of a scribe dating to the first quarter of the 14th century. artifacts included an inkpot, a bronze pen, a silver ring and, the most striking object, a manuscript on birch bark with inscriptions relating to ancient Mongol folklore.
Most fully represented is the artistic culture of the Golden Horde Khanate of the second half of the 14th and the first half of the 15th centuries. Besides traditional finds from the settlements of the Volga basin and the Crimea, the collection possesses a rare group of Islamic tombstones from Solkhat. Also of interest are a group of vessels and architectural tiles made of half-faience with Persian inscriptions, and also vessels decorated with gold facings produced in the settlement of New Sarai. In the collection of arms we should note a sabre bearing an Arabic inscription with the name of Uzbek-Khan.
There is also an interesting collection of silver objects created in the Latin colonies of the Golden Horde Khanate..
13th-early 14th centuries
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