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Auction PR Publicity Announcements News and Information

Persian, Chinese and Indian Horse and Camel Saddles from 17th and 18th Centuries For Sale at Bonhams

A selection of stunningly decorated horse and camel saddles from Persia, China and India will be sold on April 10 at Bonhams, London, in the single owner Jacques Desenfans Collection of Arms and Armour from the Middle and Far East.

jacques-desenfans-collection.jpgThe saddles are small by today’s standard but with decoration that no modern saddle can hope to match. They are cultural and historic artefacts that speak silently of heraldry and vast open spaces. Some of them may have been used on historic occasions or on key routes between the Far East and Western Europe.

Kristina Sanne, a Bonhams specialist from the Indian and Islamic Department says: “These are as much saddles as works of art. One would not dream of using them today but as items of interest and talking points they are unbeatable, especially for anyone with an interest in equestrian sports.”

Lot 103 is a rare Ming gilt bronze and wooden saddle from 17th Century China or Tibet. It has an upright square pommel and a velvet-covered seat. The front of the pommel and back of the saddle feature bronze and gilt bronze openwork depicting dragons and scrolling foliage. It is estimated to sell for £2,000-3,000.

Lot 105 Is a cloisonné-mounted wooden saddle and leather bridle from China, circa 1800. The saddle has a wide pommel and padded seat, its brass contours with cloisonné enamel decoration depicting undulating floral vines. The leather bridle is mounted with cloisonné brass plaques, including the martingale. Estimate £1,500-2,000.

Lot 205 an ivory-mounted wooden saddle probably from19th Century Bukhara, with the ivory pommel in the form of a lion’s head, the contours overlaid with ivory plaques set with turquoises, a padded seat, with stirrup straps. Estimate £1,500-2,000

Saddles of this age a rarity seldom come to market and as such they provide an opportunity to buy something very special.