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Saddle (selle); known as the 'Possenti Saddle' (Top)

Saddle (selle); known as the 'Possenti Saddle' (Top)
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Left side

Right side

Left side


Secular. Courtly love. Religious. Saints.

Repository Institution

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New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art


Bone;wood;metal (studs)

Height: 419 mm
Width: 432 mm
Length: 548 mm

Left side
Naked lady holding a fruit; youth coming out of a flower holding a blank scroll; musician angel playing a string instrument (rebec?); angel holding an orb and cross; clouds; seated lady in prayer; courting couple (meeting of lover); offering of a ring; maiden holding a unicorn on a leash. Saint George and the dragon; princess praying; dog; castle; trees; lady holding a ring.
Right side
Monsters; hybrids; youth holding a scroll with the inscription 'M M'; man fighting a winged dragon; lady with a hawk on her wrist; youth presenting her with a gift; third figure seated between them; Samson and the lion; man fighting a monster with a club; seated youth.
Foliated decoration.

Museum's opinion 2012: German or Tyrolean, c. 1450.


Polychromy - Gilding
Traces of polychromy.

Engraved on all sides.

Collection of Count Girolamo di Possenti: sale, Florence, 1 April 1880; collection of Marquess D., Genoa (until 1888). Collection of Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, duke of Dino (bought before 1901); purchased in 1904 thanks to the Rogers Fund.

J. Schlosser, 'Elfenbeinsättel des ausgehenden Mittelalters', in Jahrbuch der Kunsthistorischen Sammlungen des allerhöchsten Kaiserhauses, 15 (1894), p. 267, no. 10. Fully accessible online as part of the Heidelberger historische Bestände:
http://digi.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/diglit/jbksak1894/0318 [accessed 24/07/2013].
S. Grancsay, 'An Early Sculptured Saddle', in The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 32, no. 4 (1937), pp. 92-94 (p. 93, n. 6). Accessible online on The Metropolitan Museum of Art website in collaboration with JSTOR.
K. Watts, 'Une selle médiévale d'Europe Centrale au Royal Armouries', in Armes et cultures de guerre en Europe centrale (XVe siècle - XIXe siècle), Les Cahiers d'études et de recherches du musée de l'Armée 6 (2005-2006), pp. 49-66 (p. 53, n. 4).
M. Verő, 'Bemerkungen zu den beinsätteln aus der Sigismundzeit', in Sigismundus rex et imperator: Kunst und Kultur zur Zeit Sigismunds von Luxemburg 1387-1437, exhibition catalogue, Budapest and Luxemburg, 2006, pp. 270-278 (p. 278, no. 17).


Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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