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A rare silver-gilt and cloisoneé enamel mounted wooden saddle, possibly Moscow Kremlin Workshops, late 17th century
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413
A rare silver-gilt and cloisoneé enamel mounted wooden saddle, possibly Moscow Kremlin Workshops, late 17th century
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons

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London

A rare silver-gilt and cloisoneé enamel mounted wooden saddle, possibly Moscow Kremlin Workshops, late 17th century
the pommel and cantle with panels of enamelled scrolling foliage in white, black, blue and green with white pellets borders and filigree rims on gilt grounds, the centre covered with red velvet, apparently unmarked
length 43cm, 16 7/8 in.
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Catalogue Note

The use of cloisonné and filigree enamelling in shades of dark green, blue and white, as well as the use of white pellets and yellow dots on black grounds is typical of the Moscow Kremlin workshops in the mid- to late 19th century. Part of the Stable Treasury, the workshops produced furnishings used for ceremonial events by the Tsars and their court.

This rare silver-gilt saddle is a testament to 17th century life in the Russian court, which understood the visual power of horse barding for official processions. Many were decorated with precious stones and enamel, emerging as works of art. As part of the Kremlin’s ‘order of the stable’ dating to the 15th century, this particular ‘Boyarskiy’ type of saddle became a symbol of delicate Russian craftsmanship and was popularized across Europe and parts of Asia.

Highly esteemed Russian noblemen of the time, such as Boris Godunov and Dmitry Pozharskiy had Boyarskiy saddles commissioned. Godunov, the ruler of Russia between 1585-1598, commissioned a silver saddle which is stylistically very similar to the present lot. Likewise, Pozharsky, known as the ‘saviour of the motherland’ after leading Russian soldiers against the Polish-Lithuanian invaders in 1611, had a silver saddle made. Both of these saddles are now on display in the Kremlin’s Armoury museum display, in Moscow, underscoring their cultural and historical importance.    

Russian Works of Art, Fabergé & Icons

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London