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
This saddle demonstrates beautifully the long tradition of finely made and ornately decorated ceremonial saddles that flourished in Tibet from at least the early fifteenth century until the mid-twentieth century. It is distinguished by elaborate mounts of intricately modeled gilt copper plates, set with turquoise. The saddle was made in Derge (in present-day Ganzi Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture, Sichuan Province, China), which was famous for centuries for its metalwork. It is significant not only as a fine example of late Derge metalwork but also because it was made for a known patron, the Tibetan nobleman Yuthok Tashi Dundrup (1906–1983), who commissioned the saddle when he assumed the post of governor of eastern Tibet in 1942.