The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Saddle
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • North Italy
  • late 16th century and 19th century
  • Steel, gold and silver, embossed and counterfeit-damascened
  • Weight: 7.03 kg
  • A412
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Saddle, a composite of elements dating from the sixteenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The tree is mounted with steels which do not match. The front arçon steel, constructed of three plates, is rather crudely embossed, chased and damascened in gold with a crowded composition of horsemen in combat, wearing Roman and Eastern costume; in each case a fortified city in the background, the borders are scrollwork damascened with gold arabesques. The upper borders are flanged and roped. The fluted and gilt-headed rivets appear to be modern.

    The rear saddle steel is comprised of one plate, with a flanged and roped upper edge, embossed with three oval cartouches representing views of a city, in gold linear damascening, surrounded by embossed groups of putti bearing vases, cornucopias and festoons. The front plate, by contrast, is counterfeit-damascened in both silver and several different colours of gold.

    The saddle tree beech wood retains two buckles, parts of the girth-straps and an oval ring. It may date from the eighteenth century. The green velvet cover is even more recent, probably dating from the mid-nineteenth century.