Kashpir Ganusov

Kashpir Ganusov

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Kashpir Ganusov (? - ?) was a Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n bellmaker of the 16th century.

The information about Kashpir Ganusov is scarce. It is difficult to tell what nationality he was or where he came from. We can only cautiously assume that Kashpir Ganusov was one of those craftsmen who had left the Grand Duchy of Lithuania
Grand Duchy of Lithuania
The Grand Duchy of Lithuania was a European state from the 12th /13th century until 1569 and then as a constituent part of Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth until 1791 when Constitution of May 3, 1791 abolished it in favor of unitary state. It was founded by the Lithuanians, one of the polytheistic...

 in the first half of the 16th century. According to the Moscow Cannon Yard documents and archives, Kashpir Ganusov was working at the court of Ivan the Terrible in 1550s. In 1550, the cannon yard produced a huge bell
Bell (instrument)
A bell is a simple sound-making device. The bell is a percussion instrument and an idiophone. Its form is usually a hollow, cup-shaped object, which resonates upon being struck...

 weighing around 2000 pood
Pood , is a unit of mass equal to 40 funt . It is approximately 16.38 kilograms . It was used in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Pood was first mentioned in a number of documents of the 12th century....

s (33 Mg), which would later receive the name of Lebed’ (Лебедь, or "swan
Swans, genus Cygnus, are birds of the family Anatidae, which also includes geese and ducks. Swans are grouped with the closely related geese in the subfamily Anserinae where they form the tribe Cygnini. Sometimes, they are considered a distinct subfamily, Cygninae...

"). This bell didn’t survive to this day, but we only know of one bell maker in Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

 of that time, who could have cast it. Based on this, Kashpir Ganusov is considered the maker of this bell (or his predecessor, whose name is unknown).

At a certain point in time, Kashpir Ganusov moved his activities to Smolensk
Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River. Situated west-southwest of Moscow, this walled city was destroyed several times throughout its long history since it was on the invasion routes of both Napoleon and Hitler. Today, Smolensk...

. According to some documents of the 19th century, there were quite a few arquebus
The arquebus , or "hook tube", is an early muzzle-loaded firearm used in the 15th to 17th centuries. The word was originally modeled on the German hakenbüchse; this produced haquebute...

es along the fortress walls of Smolensk with Ganusov’s name on them (and his apprentices’ names, as well). One of the most famous pieces of ammunition made by Kashpir Ganusov is an arquebus named Ostraya Panna (Острая Панна), then located at the Government Warehouse (Казённый амбар) in Smolensk. It weighed 185 poods (3,030 kg). The engraving on this arquebus says that it was made by Kashpir Ganusov in the summer of 1564. There are no other known arquebuses with Ganusov’s name on them, but some of them have the name of his most famous apprentice – Andrei Chokhov. It happened so that Chokhov had to recast his teacher’s creation—the Lebed’ bell—after Devlet I Giray
Devlet I Giray
Devlet I Giray was a khan of the Crimean Khanate during whose long reign the khanate rose to the pinnacle of its power....

’s raid on Moscow in 1571
Fire of Moscow (1571)
The Fire of Moscow occurred in May of that year when the forces of the Crimean khan Devlet I Giray raided the city. The khan set the suburbs on May 24 and a sudden wind blew the flames into Moscow and the city went up in a conflagration...

. It is this very bell that is pictured on the so-called Kremlenagrad—the first detailed map of the Moscow Kremlin
Moscow Kremlin
The Moscow Kremlin , sometimes referred to as simply The Kremlin, is a historic fortified complex at the heart of Moscow, overlooking the Moskva River , Saint Basil's Cathedral and Red Square and the Alexander Garden...


We also know about other Ganusov’s apprentices, such as Bogdan Andreytokhov, Kuzmin Pervoy, Nikita Tupitsyn and Yuri Bochkaryov, who worked in Moscow between the second half of the 16th century and early 17th century. Semyon Dubinin, Ganusov’s apprentice in Smolensk, would later move to Pskov
Pskov is an ancient city and the administrative center of Pskov Oblast, Russia, located in the northwest of Russia about east from the Estonian border, on the Velikaya River. Population: -Early history:...

. So far, we know nothing about Kashpir Ganusov since he was last mentioned in a document of the late 1560s.