Saddle

Date: ca. 1570–80

Geography: Milan

Culture: Italian, Milan

Medium: Wood, textile, iron, linen, leather, steel, gold, silver

Dimensions: 22 1/2 x 25 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (54.6 x 64.1 x 62.2 cm); Wt. 22 lb. 1 oz. (10 kg)

Classification: Equestrian Equipment-Saddles

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1904

Accession Number: 04.3.252

Description

This is a rare example of a complete European war saddle of good quality from the second half of the sixteenth century. The saddle tree (underlying wooden framework), the steels, and the silk velvet cover are all original and matching. The arrangement of the steels is typical for armored saddles: a three-piece pommel plate in the front and a two-part cantle in the rear. The decoration, consisting of multiple bands etched and gilt with pieces of armor, weapons , and musical instruments––motifs known as trophies––was widely used on Italian armor from about 1550 to 1580. The textile covering, now heavily worn, was originally highlighted by designs embroidered in bright gold and silver thread.

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