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Details
A MILANESE HORSE-TRAPPER
Late 16th Century
Of leather faced with thick red velvet (now almost black) and comprising a one-piece peytral and two-piece crupper (some damage throughout, pieces detached), the bottom edge deeply jagged in a series of triple-pointed tongues, with iron attachment-buckles (some missing), the surfaces throughout decorated with applied designs partly embossed in relief out of sheet iron, and partly gilt, pierced and gold-damascened against a blued ground, secured by rivets, and comprising strapwork framing masks, trophies of arms, harpies, tritons, putti playing instruments, classical figures and, on the crupper, oval and shaped plaques with classical battle scenes, and a large central circular plaque on each side, that on the off side depicting classical gods and goddesses assembled round the enthroned Jupiter, and that on the near side a celestial orchestra in classical dress (some wear throughout to gilding, bluing and damascening)
the peytral 51 in. (131.4 cm.) wide (3)
Provenance
Given by Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, to King Philip III of Spain in 1603.
Real Armera, Madrid.
Oxenham's, London, 30 March 1843, lot 310, accompanied by a shaffron and a saddle, and ascribed to Charles V.
Frdric Spitzer, 1860s.
Rothschild inv. no. AR1027.
Literature
L'Art pour Tous, 6e anne, Paris, 1866-7, no. 168, p. 672, fig. 1551 (peytral).
Ibid., 8e anne, 1868-9, No. 209, p. 836, fig. 1900 (right crupper).
Conde V.do de Valencia de Don Juan, Catlogo Histrico-descriptivo de la Real Armera de Madrid, Madrid, 1898, pp. 97-100.
F.H. Cripps-Day, A Record of Armour Sales 1881-1924, London, 1925, p. lvii, fig. DD.
L.G. Boccia and E.T. Coelho, L'Arte dell'Armatura in Italia, Milan, 1967, nos. 318-9, pp. 327 and 337-8.

Lot Essay

This is one of two trappers forming part of an embossed parade-garniture of circa 1585-90 in the Real Armera, Madrid (inv. no. A 291-94). The inventory of the Armoury of 1594-1652 records that it was presented to King Philip III of Spain in 1603 by Duke Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, and that it included two trappers with gilt iron ornament, accompanied on one by blue and yellow stones, no traces of which remain on either. It has been attributed to the famous Milanese producer of embossed and damascened parade armours, Lucio Piccinino, but the evidence for doing so is inadequate. Variations in the quality of the plaques on the present trapper suggest that it is more likely to have been produced in one of the other workshops in Milan that were producing not only embossed and damascened armour but also furniture-mounts in the same technique, and about which little is known.
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