Pair of Stirrups

Date: 16th–18th century

Culture: Tibetan

Medium: Iron, gold, silver

Dimensions: H. 5 1/8 in. (13 cm); W. 3 1/2 in. (8.9 cm)

Classification: Equestrian Equipment-Stirrups

Credit Line: Purchase, Rogers Fund and Bequest of Stephen V. Grancsay, by exchange, 1997

Accession Number: 1997.214.2a, b


Although close in form to the well-known style of Mongolian, Chinese, and Tibetan stirrups still in use in the region today, this pair, with its slender proportions and accomplished decoration, is earlier and finer than most examples of this type. The dragon heads are chiseled in high relief with deep undercutting and some piercing. The treads, where the rider's feet would rest, are decorated with the interlocked design known as the King's Earrings, damascened in silver.