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A SET OF SILVER GILT APPLIQUÉ PANELS FROM A HORSE TRAPPING
The following four lots are all from the same set of horse trappings. A much larger group of panels from the same original trapping is in the Khalili Collection (Alexander, David: The Arts of War, London and Oxford, 1992, no.15, pp.48-51). The present lot contains examples of all the types represented in the Khalili Collection, together with the strap terminals which are not in the other group.
The group shows a very interesting combination of almost pure Chinese and pure Iranian original motifs. Teh design of the disc is taken straight from Achaemenid silver items. But the lotus, particularly in this form, is purely Chinese in inspiration. All are linked by the execution, particularly the finely reeded raised borders.
The Khalili set was apparently found with a gold repoussé saddle which is clearly of Chinese design if not origin. It was originally published as dating from the 10th century (Alexander, op.cit., no.14, pp.42-47). A group of the Khalili examples was recently exhibited together with the saddle in New York and Los Angeles (Komaroff, Linda and Carboni, Stefano: The Legacy of Genghis Khan, New York, 2002, no.141, fig.10, p.17). This catalogue re-dated the saddle to being contemporaneous with the horse trappings in the 13th century. The catalogue entry for the trappings notes a number of instances in Mongol paintings where khans and other important figures are depicted with jewelled panels on their bridles and horse trappings, particularly on the bridle and on the straps which run over the rump of the horse.