Pair of Men's Stirrups (estribos)
Object Place: Argentina
Overall: 23.8 x 14 x 7.9 cm (9 3/8 x 5 1/2 x 3 1/8 in.)
Medium or Technique
William J. Fitzgerald Gallery (Gallery 135)
The stirrups are elliptical in section; the profiles, in the shape of a bell or crown, have a lower scalloped edge, reeded midband, and engraved foliate decoration. Applied bands along the sides have additional floral decoration. The straps extend upward in an attenuated arch and terminate in a decorative end, or eye, from which the stirrup hangs.
This stirrup design is unique to South America, where it was made primarily in Argentina. The form was called campana, or corona, because the stirrups look like bells or inverted crowns. It was thought that the shape originated in Brazil, migrated south to Uruguay, and finally reached Argentina, where it was adopted and made in great quantities because of the comfort it offered to the rider. A large amount of silver was required to make these stirrups, which also allowed the owner to display his wealth.
This text has been adapted from “Silver of the Americas, 1600-2000,” edited by Jeannine Falino and Gerald W.R. Ward, published in 2008 by the MFA. Complete references can be found in that publication.
"I. B. M." in script engraved underneath each stirrup.
Collected in Buenos Aires, Argentina, by Mr. and Mrs. Edmund P. Graves between 1898 and 1913.
Gift of Miss Ellen Graves, Mrs. Samuel Cabot and Mrs. Roger Ernst in memory of their father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Edmund P. Graves