The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Saddle steel
  • Saddle steel
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Italy or Spain
  • c. 1610
  • Steel, etched
  • Weight: 0.857 kg, bow-plates
    Weight: 9.072 kg, cantle
  • A414
  • European Armoury II
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Rear saddle steel, one of a pair with the front plate A413. Formed of two plates. The upper borders are flanged with a hollow roping, within which is a sunk band etched with running foliage; the rest of the surface is entirely covered with crudely etched, strapwork ornament filled in with trophies of arms on coarse granulated ground. Pierced with four circular holes for fixing them to the saddle tree, but they been joined together in recent times by nuts and bolts.

    The decoration shows the decline of the art of armour-making towards the end of the sixteenth century and into the early seventeenth century. The trophies have been derived from the 'mops and brooms' ornament of late Milanese armour, and the scribbled granulated ground borrowed from the earlier German school. Armour of this type was used by the Spanish troops in the Netherlands. Much of it was almost certainly imported from Lombardy, but some may have been made at Pamplona in Spain.