Antique Medieval 9th-10th century Khazar Horse Curb Bit
A rare antique medieval, 9th-10th century, Khazar horse curb bit, entirely hand forged from several elements of solid iron, composed of two bars, called canons, with a loop for reins. Each canon is connected to a curved cheekpiece affixed with two slabs pierced with rectangular holes to mount the harness.
These types of curb bit have a military function, as they would permit near-absolute control on the part of the rider, and horses were an important aspect of Khazar's military power.
REFERENCES: A similar curb bit is in the British Museum collection described as dating from the 9th -10th century and coming from the Saltovo - Mayaki Khazar culture in Bielowodsk, Russia.
Please see the last picture attached to the listing.
We also have a pair of Khazar stirrups for sale similar to the one pictured in the British Museum photo, SKU E935.
The buyer will receive a photocopy of the photo from the mentioned references together with a certificate of authenticity.
CONDITION: In excavated condition, corroded, but overall complete and sound. Considering its age to be over 1000 years, the bit is in good condition.
DIMENSIONS, approximately: Height: 23.7 cm (9.33 inches). Width: 18.5cm (7.28inches).
It is well known that, sometime in the eighth to ninth centuries, the Khazars, a warlike Turkic people, converted to Judaism in the 8th-9th century and ruled over a vast domain in what became southern Russia and Ukraine. At its maximum extent, the independent country of Khazaria included the geographic regions of southern Russia, northern Caucasus, eastern Ukraine, Crimea, western Kazakhstan, and northwestern Uzbekistan. Other nomadic groups such as the Hungarians, Kabars, Sabirs and Bulgars came under Khazar jurisdiction during the 7th century. The Khazars forced some of the Bulgars (led by Asparukh) to move to modern-day Bulgaria, while other Bulgars fled to the upper Volga River region where the independent state of Volga Bulgaria was founded. The Khazars had their greatest power over other tribes in the 9th century, controlling eastern Slavs, Magyars, Pechenegs, Burtas, North Caucasian Huns, and other tribes and demanding tribute from them. What happened to them after the Russians destroyed that empire around the eleventh century has been a mystery. Many have speculated that the Khazars became the ancestors of Ashkenazi Jews.