H. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm); L. 22 in. (54.8 cm); W. 17 in. (43.2 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1904
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 373
Only the unicorn moves unharmed through the densely packed landscape on this deluxe saddle. It witnesses amorous scenes—the giving of rings, the playing of music. Other animals are locked in combat on opposite sides of the saddle: a knight, perhaps Saint George, slays a dragon to save a princess in distress, while an unarmed man wrestles a lion.
Ex coll.: Maurice de Tallyrand-Pérogord, duc de Dino.
de Cosson, Charles A. Le Cabinet D'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino, Étude Descriptive par le Baron de Cosson. Paris, October 31, 1901. p. 49, no. E, 6, pls. 20-21.
Musée de l'Armée and Gustave Léon Niox. Armes & Armures Cnciennes et Souvenirs Historiques, les Plus Précieux. Vol. 1. Paris: Hôtel des Invalides, 1917. Vol. 1, plate 55.
Laking, Guy Francis, Charles Alexander Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. V. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1922. declared of doubtful authenticity; reported to, and approved by Purchasing and Executive Committees at meeting held March 15, 1937. See Bull. Met. Mus. Art, 1937, XXXII:92.
Eisler, J., and János Kalmár. "Zu den Fragen der Beinsattel des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums. Parts I and II." Folia Archaeologica 28, 30 (1977 and 1979). part I, pp. 189–209; part II, pp. 205–244.
Boccia, Lionello G. L'Armeria del Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna. Busto Arsizio, Italy: Bramante Editrice, 1991. This group of "ivory saddles" reviewed and analyzed, MMA examples discussed. cat. no. 214 (entire group of staghorn saddles discussed, including ours).