Bit and Bridle

Date: 15th–17th century

Culture: Tibetan

Medium: Leather, iron, gold

Dimensions: H. 21 in. (53.3 cm); W. 19 in. (48.3 cm)

Classification: Equestrian Equipment

Credit Line: Purchase, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1998

Accession Number: 1998.282


This superb bridle is one of the most complete and complex examples known. It is decorated with an elaborate series of pierced and chiseled iron fittings damascened in gold. To add to the appearance of depth, behind much of the pierced scrollwork there is a secondary ground, which is made of a shaped plate of dark iron damascened in gold with wave patterns.