Pommel Plate from a Saddle

Date: 13th–15th century

Culture: Mongolian (Central or West Asian) or Tibetan

Medium: Iron, gold, silver

Dimensions: 5 5/8 x 10 1/2 in. (14.3 x 26.7 cm)

Classification: Saddle Plates

Credit Line: Purchase, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Gift, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.336


The style, materials, and decorative techniques of this pommel plate are like those on Tibetan saddles, but this is the only known pommel plate to feature human figures or a secular scene of any kind, in this case a tiger hunt. It is very similar to hunting scenes that occur frequently on early fourteenth-century metalwork from the Ilkhanate, a state founded by the Mongols in Persia, which suggests that this plate was made for a Mongol patron, either in Persia or in Tibet, based on Ilkhanid designs.