Date: 15th–17th century
Medium: Iron, gold, copper, wood, leather
Dimensions: H. 13 3/4 in. (34.9 cm); L. 23 3/8 in. (59.4 cm); W. 15 1/4 in. (38.7 cm)
Classification: Equestrian Equipment-Saddles
Credit Line: Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2002
Accession Number: 2002.225
This saddle is remarkable for the quality and extent of its pierced and chiseled decoration, particularly the figural masks worked in low relief in the center of the pommel and cantle plates. These masks are more artistically accomplished and on a larger scale than virtually any other known examples of low-relief ironwork from Tibet or China. The chiseling of the scrollwork is equal to that found on other high-quality Tibetan iron objects, such as cup cases and the fittings for doors of large temples or monasteries, and it compares closely to the pierced ironwork found on the best Tibetan saddles and bridles.