Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Saddle

Date:
ca. 1400–1420
Geography:
Made in perhaps Bohemia, Central Europe
Culture:
Central European
Medium:
Staghorn, limewood, rawhide, birchbark, polychromy
Dimensions:
Overall ((a) Saddle): 13 5/16 × 20 1/2 × 13 5/8 in. (33.8 × 52.1 × 34.6 cm) Overall (b-blanket): 30 7/8 × 27 1/4 in. (78.4 × 69.2 cm)
Classification:
Ivories-Bone
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1940
Accession Number:
40.66a–c
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 307
This is one of about twenty known Medieval saddles decorated with bone plaques. The saddles vary somewhat in decoration, but certain motifs are common throughout. For instance, Saint George, standing over the defeated dragon, appears with elegant couples on most of the saddles. Used in parade, they were probably more ceremonial than utilitarian.

The bone plaques used to create the saddle, probably from the pelvic bones of large animals such as cows, are attached to the core with bone pins and glue. The underside is lined with hide and birch bark.
Prince Gian Giacomo Trivulzio, Milan (by 1872-until 1928); [ Julius Böhler Kunsthandlung, Munich (1928)]; [ Duveen Brothers, London, Paris and New York (1928)]; Clarence H. Mackay, Roslyn NY (from 1928;Mackay Estate until 1940)
Du Sommerard, Alexandre. Les arts au moyen âge, en ce qui concerne principalement le Palais romain de Paris, l'Hôtel de Cluny. Album. Paris: Hôtel de Cluny, 1838–46. 4e Série, pl. XXV.

Du Sommerard, Alexandre. Les arts au moyen âge, en ce qui concerne principalement le Palais romain de Paris, l'Hôtel de Cluny. Vol. 5. Paris: Hôtel de Cluny, 1838–46. pp. 225, 427.

Catalogo delle opere d'arte antica esposte nel Palazzo di Brera. 2nd ed. Milan: Pinacoteca di Brera, 1872. no. 241, p. 34.

Courajod, Louis. "Exposition Rétrospective de Milan (Art Industriel 1874)." Gazette des Beaux-Arts 11, no. 4 (April 1875). p. 378, ill.

Molinier, Émile. "Notes sur quelques selles de fabrication italienne." L'Art: revue hebdomadaire illustrée 34 (1883). p. 29, ill. p. 31.

"Selle en ivoire sculpté." L'Art Ornemental: revue hebdomadaire illustrée 4, no. 163 (March 13, 1886). p. 21, ill.

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Schlosser, Julius von. "Die Werkstatt der Embriachi in Venedig." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses 20 (1899). pp. 256, 259.

Nagy, Géza. "Hadtörténeti ereklyék a Magyar Nemzeti Múzeumban." Hadtörténelmi Közlemények 11 (1910). p. 229.

Grancsay, Stephen V. Loan Exhibition of European Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1931. no. 113, p. 34.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "An Early Sculptured Saddle." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 32, no. 4 (April 1937). p. 94.

Grancsay, Stephen V. "A Mediaeval Sculptured Saddle." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 36, no. 3 (March 1941). pp. 73–76.

Rorimer, James J., and William Holmes Forsyth. "The Medieval Galleries." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 12, no. 6 (February 1954). p. 144.

Seligman, Germain. Merchants of Art: 1880–1960, Eighty Years of Professional Collecting. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts, 1961. p. 217.

Hayward, John F. "A Fifteenth-Century Carved Bone Saddle." Auction 2, no. 7 (March 1969). p. 23.

Genthon, István. "Monumenti artistici ungheresi all’estero." Acta Historiae Artium 16 (1970). no. 21, p. 6.

Nickel, Helmut. "Arms and Armor." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, n.s., 32, no. 4 (1973-1974). pp. 96–97.

Eisler, János. "Zu den Fragen der Beinsättel des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums I." Folia Archaeologica 28 (1977). p. 200 n. 20.

Eisler, János. "Zu den Fragen der Beinsättel des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums II." Folia Archaeologica 30 (1979). pp. 206–7, 232, 234–35 n. 53, 239, fig. 24.

Norman, A. V. B. European Arms and Armour Supplement. Wallace Collection Catalogues. London: Wallace Collection, 1986. p. 108.

Boccia, Lionello G. L'armeria del Museo civico medievale di Bologna. Busto Arsizio: Bramante Editrice, 1991. p. 112.

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Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Clarence H. Mackay as an Armour Collector." In The Nineteenth Park Lane Arms Fair. London: Christie's, 2002. p. 28, fig. 13.

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Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karel IV., Císař Boží Milosti: Kultura a Umění za Vlády Posledních Lucemburků 1347–1437 (Charles IV, Emperor by the Grace of God: Culture and Art in the Reign of the Last of the Luxembourgs 1347–1437). Prague: Prague Castle Administration, 2006. no. 10.6, pp. 81–82.

Fajt, Jiri, and Barbara Drake Boehm, ed. Karl IV., Kaiser von Gottes Gnaden: Kunst und Repräsentation des Hauses Luxemburg 1310-1437. Munich: Deutscher Kunstverlag, 2006. no. 165, pp. 481, 497–99.

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Takács, Imre, ed. Sigismundus rex et imperator: art et culture au temps de Sigismond de Luxembourg, 1387–1437. Luxembourg: Musée National d'Histoire et d'Art Luxembourg, 2006. no. 4.66, pp. 357–59.

Lyon, Christopher. Couples in Art: Artworks from The Metropolitan Museum of Art selected by Colin Eisler in collaboration with Caroline Kelly. Munich, London, New York: Prestel, 2011. p. 69.



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