Breast Defense (Peytral) from a Horse Armor

Date: 15th–17th century

Culture: Tibetan or Mongolian

Medium: Leather, iron, brass or copper alloy, silver, gold, shellac, pigments, textile, hair

Dimensions: H. 22 1/2 in. (57.2 cm); W. 25 5/8 in. (65.1 cm)

Classification: Armor for Horse

Credit Line: Purchase, Bashford Dean Memorial Collection, Funds from various donors, by exchange

Accession Number: 1999.36


In terms of its decoration, this peytral displays a far greater variety of motifs, executed in a more fluid and accomplished style, than any other comparable example of Tibetan horse armor. At the center of the upper section there is a Wish-Granting Jewel on a lotus throne flanked by symmetrical sprays of lush leafy stems and blossoms, and in the center of the lower section there is a Right-turning Conch Shell. The borders of the central sections are edged with silver wire, while the other sections have copper wire, both sewn in a fine chain stitch. Carbon 14 tests of the leather resulted in a date range of 1402 to 1626.