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Saddle

about 1430–60

Unidentified artist, French, 17th century


Dimensions

Overall: 36.2 x 54.6 x 37.1 cm (14 1/4 x 21 1/2 x 14 5/8 in.)

Accession Number

69.944

Medium or Technique

Bone over wood core, lined underneath with hide covered with birch bark, polychromy

On View

Museum Council Gallery (Gallery 254)

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Tools & equipment , Animal-related

Staghorn, carved and partly colored, lined with birch bark; decorated with figures in low relief against background of inhabited scrollwork; St. George and the Dragon; men and women in fashionable secular costumes holding inscribed ribbons with initials (G and S) and German inscriptions (motto: Gedenkch und Halt "Look before you leap" or "Think and Hold", depending on translation, repeated three times).

Provenance

Possibly by 1520, the princes of Batthyány, Hungary [see note 1]; by descent within the family to Ladislaus Batthyány-Strattmann (b. 1904 - d. 1966) and his wife, Antoinette Batthyány-Strattmann (b. 1902 - d. 1990), Körmend, Hungary; April 17, 1969, Antoinette Batthyány-Strattmann and others sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 6, to Herbert Bier, London, for the MFA. (Accession Date: May 14, 1969) NOTES: [1] According to notes in the MFA curatorial file, there is a tradition that this belonged either to Balthasar Batthyány (d. 1520) or his son Francis and was passed on by descent within the family. In the 18th century, Empress Maria Teresia granted the family the title of Princes Batthyany, Counts of Strattmann. The saddle is said to have been with the Batthyány-Strattmann family at this time, when it was recorded among the arms collection as a family heirloom. In the 19th century it was on loan to the Museum of Szombathély, Hungary and was subsequently returned to Körmend Castle.

Credit Line

Centennial Purchase Fund