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Leather Crupper

Place of Origin: Tibet

Date: 15th–17th Century

Overall : 590mm (23.25 inches)

Reference: 187

Status: Sold

Full Description:

The importance Tibetans place on equestrian life is demonstrated by the elaborate and well-crafted equipment now preserved in museums and private collections. This rare leather crupper illustrates their focus on aesthetics by providing a decorative cover for the crupper strap which is buckled to the back of a saddle and looped under a horse’s tail, preventing the saddle or harness from slipping forward. Made of two pieces, it has a large rectangular section connected to a tri-lobed end-piece by means of three small but well-made brass hinges, also tri-lobed. The end-piece allows for the movements of the horse’s tail and rear by means of another hinge. The two pieces of leather are applied with green piping, silver wire stitching and iron studs along the borders. They have been painted with gold leaf and covered with shellac. The two outer sections have dark backgrounds with golden, stylised clouds. The central area has a gold background and large red petals—the detailing done in fine black ink. It is understood that the Royal Armouries, Leeds, also has such a crupper, but the only confirmed refence is a photograph of a fully armoured horse and warrior illustrated on the museum’s website1.


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