Art/ Collection/ Art Object


ca. 1570–80
Italian, Milan
Wood, textile, iron, linen, leather, steel, gold, silver
22 1/2 x 25 1/4 x 24 1/2 in. (54.6 x 64.1 x 62.2 cm); Wt. 22 lb. 1 oz. (10 kg)
Equestrian Equipment-Saddles
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1904
Accession Number:
Not on view
This is a rare example of a complete European war saddle of good quality from the second half of the sixteenth century. The saddle tree (underlying wooden framework), the steels, and the silk velvet cover are all original and matching. The arrangement of the steels is typical for armored saddles: a three-piece pommel plate in the front and a two-part cantle in the rear. The decoration, consisting of multiple bands etched and gilt with pieces of armor, weapons , and musical instruments––motifs known as trophies––was widely used on Italian armor from about 1550 to 1580. The textile covering, now heavily worn, was originally highlighted by designs embroidered in bright gold and silver thread.
Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, London and Goodrich Court (by 1830); M. E. Vaïsse, Marseille (until 1885; Objets d'Art et de Haute Curiosité...Composant l'importante Collection de M. E. Vaïsse de Marseille, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 4, 1885, lot 69, for Fr 4,200 to Pujol); [Pujol, Paris and Toulouse, 1885; sold to Duc de Dino by 1901]; Charles Maurice Camille de Talleyrand-Périgord Duc de Dino, Paris (by 1901–1904; sold to MMA).
Louisville, Ky. J. B. Speed Art Museum. "A Loan Exhibition of Equestrian Equipment from the Metropolitan Museum of Art," May 4–July 3, 1955, no. 56.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Armored Horse in Europe," February 15, 2005–January 15, 2006.

Meyrick, Samuel R., and Joseph Skelton. Engraved Illustrations of Antient Arms and Armour: From the Collection of Llewelyn Meyrick at Goodrich Court, Herefordshire. Vol. 2. London: J. Skelton, 1830. pl. CXXVII, fig. 2.

Hôtel Drouot. Objets d'art et de haute curiosité du Moyen-Âge, de la Renaissance et des temps modernes composant l'importante Collection de M. E. Vaïsse de Marseille. Paris, May 5–8, 1885. p. 9, no. 69, pl. opp. p. 36.

Cosson, Charles Alexander. Le Cabinet d'Armes de Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Duc de Dino. Paris: E. Rouveyre, 1901. p. 49, no. E.7.

Grancsay, Stephen V. A Loan Exhibition of Equestrian Equipment from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue. Louisville, Ky.: Speed Art Museum, 1955. no. 56, ill.

Pyhrr, Stuart W., Donald J. La Rocca, and Dirk H. Breiding. The Armored Horse in Europe, 1480–1620. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2005. pp. 60–62, no. 29, ill.

Fallows, Noel. Jousting in Medieval and Renaissance Iberia. Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2010. p. 129, fig. 70.

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