Saddle: 18 1/2 x 24 x 17 in. (47 x 61 x 43.2 cm); stirrups: H., 7 in. (17.8 cm); bridle and bit: 21 x 9 in. (53.3 x 22.9 cm); Crupper: 39 x 20 in. (99.1 x 50.8 cm); tassel sockets: H. 4 3/4 in. (12.1 cm); breast collar: 72 1/2 x 1 1/2 in. (184.2 x 3.8 cm)
Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and Kenneth and Vivian Lam Gifts; funds from various donors, by exchange; Laird and Kathleen Landmann and Bernice and Jerome Zwanger Gifts; and funds from various donors, 2008
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 378
Like the Surkhang saddle also in the Metropolitan Museum's collection (acc. no. 2005.427.1), this example demonstrates that the long tradition of finely made and ornately decorated ceremonial saddles flourished in Tibet until the mid-twentieth century. This saddle is distinguished by elaborate mounts of intricately modeled gilt copper set with turquoise. It was made in Derge (in present-day Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China), famous for centuries for its metalwork. It is rare and important as a fine example of high-quality, late Derge metalwork made for a known patron: the Tibetan nobleman Yuthok Tashi Dundrup (1906–1983) commissioned the saddle when he assumed the post of govornor of Eastern Tibet in 1942.