The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Saddle
  • Saddle
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Flanders
  • c. 1570 and 19th century
  • Steel and gold, false-damascened and embossed
  • Without Saddle, Weight: 1.55 kg
  • A411
  • European Armoury II
Commentary
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Armoured saddle, a composite made up of a modern tree and authentic front and rear steels. . The front arçon is constructed of three plates embossed in low relief with oval panels containing figures of Pomona(?) reclining (on the left), Flora reclining (on the right), with Victory standing (in the centre); the panels are framed with strapwork all counterfeit-damascened in gold amid trophies of arms, interlaced strapwork and fruit, on a dark ground; the edges rounded and turned over but not roped. The rear arçon of one plate is similarly decorated with three oval cartouches, a large one in the centre shows a composition of many figures illustrating the story of Brennus throwing his sword into the scales; those on banners, among arms.

    The modern saddle tree is made of wood, covered with canvas and faced with green velvet.

    See Hayward, ''The Erlangen saddle plate design', Livrustkammaren, XIV, 1978, pp. 221-68, Figs. 21-2.

    This saddle belongs to the group embossed armour at one time called the ‘Louvre School’, and now, for the part, identified with Eliseus Libaerts, see Wallace Collection A172. The decoration of this example however, although clearly influenced by the Antwerp Mannerist taste, is not strictly comparable to the known work of Eliseus Libaerts. S. Pyhrr (personal communication) compared the decoration of A411 with that of the well-known cuirass signed by D. V. G. Lochorst in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 38.159; S. V. Grancsay, Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum, XXXVI, pp. 84-8).