Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Parade Saddle

ca. 1450
German or Tyrolean
Bone, polychromy, wood, leather, iron alloy
H. 16 1/2 in. (41.9 cm); L. 22 in. (54.8 cm); W. 17 in. (43.2 cm)
Equestrian Equipment-Saddles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
Not on view
About twenty similarly decorated saddles exist, dating from the late fourteenth to the mid-fifteenth century. The shape, with its low, splayed cantle (rear of the seat), was characteristic of eastern European saddles, but the exact place of origin and original purpose of these examples of elaborately carved bone are unknown. Their decoration typically includes, as on the two examples diplayed here, Saint George and the dragon, unicorns, other mythical beasts, and pairs of lovers, often accompanied by romantic expressions in German script. The carving and inconography are reminiscent of Minnekästen, carved boxes that were given as lover's tokens.
Ex coll.: Maurice de Tallyrand-Pérogord, duc de Dino.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Costume Institute. "Man and the Horse: an illustrated history of equestrian apparel," December 3, 1984–September 1, 1985.

von Schlosser, J., Wendelin Boeheim, and Countess de Valencia de Don Juan. "Elfenbeinsättel des ausgehenden Mittelaltars." Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des Allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, Band 15 (1894). pp. 260-294, Band 15.

Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 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, pl. 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. vol. 3, p. 171-172, fig. 979.

Eisler, J., and János Kalmár. "Zu den Fragen der Beinsattel des Ungarischen Nationalmuseums. Parts I and II." Folia Archaeologica 28, 30 (1977 and 1979). vol 28, part I, pp. 189–209; vol. 30, part II, pp. 205–244.

Boccia, Lionello G., and Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna. L'Armeria del Museo Civico Medievale di Bologna. Busto Arsizio, Italy: Bramante Editrice, 1991. pp. 111-112.

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