This saddle is made of limewood covered in gesso over papier mâché. It is modelled on a 15th Century style parade saddle which would have been covered in sheets of carved bone or antler. It has a two-lobed cantle, and a high arch at the front rising to a rounded double pommel. The outer surfaces are decorated with figures of people, animals and monsters.
A piece of scallopped metal decoration remains on one of the fans at the rear of the saddle The underside is lined in red floral damask. There is wear and damage to the gesso in many places (please see the images), the pommel is a little loose.
There is a very similar (although in better condition) example in the Wallace Collection
They say of theirs "Modern reproduction or fake saddle, made, probably in the mid- nineteenth century, in the style of the authentic late medieval saddles, Wallace Collection A407-8. Constructed of wood, covered with gesso intended to stimulate applied decorative plates of engraved ivory or antler, and decorated in low relief with chivalric and Biblical scenes. This saddle belongs to a group of forgeries based on a particular original of this group of engraved antler veneered saddles, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York. Other examples were in the Pitt-Rivers Collection and the Marchese B. sale, Genoa, 1888, lot 35. One, carved in pear wood, was in the market about 1930, and another carved wooden one is in the Musée de l' Armée"
The Wallace Collection saddle can be seen HERE
Dimensions : Length 23¼" (59cm), width 16" (41cm), height 14¾" (37cm)
Ref : saddle036
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