The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
  • Stirrup
  • Unknown Artist / Maker
  • Germany
  • c. 1570
  • Bronze
  • Height: 11 cm, arch
    Width: 10.62 cm, tread
    Weight: 0.58 kg
  • A437
  • European Armoury I
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • Stirrup, one of a pair with A436, of bronze, cast and chased. Arch-shaped in outline, the sides, which widen towards the base, are decorated with four vertical roped flutes, each incised with conventional foliage and pierced with a hole at the base; oval tread with three inner bars of flat, baluster form and two curved outer ones with shaped bottom edges; at the top is a square box for the leather with a fluted scallop shell at the front.

    A pair of stirrups of a similar design, but with five vertical flutes at the side is illustrated by Schlieben, pl. IV, no. 176; these belonged to Augustus I, Elector of Saxony (1526-86).

    The incised decoration is similar to that found occasionally on gun barrels and frequently on sword hilts in northern Europe in the period between 1600 and 1630. Moreover, this form of stirrup is illustrated, for instance, in ‘The Wolfhunt’ painted by Rubens about 1615, now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York (no. 10.73) as well as in the equestrian portrait of King Philip IV of Spain, also by Rubens (1628; Prado, Madrid, cat. no. 1686). A second similar pair of stirrups is also in the Metropolitan Museum (no. 14.25.1756, a-b).