Tibetan Saddle

This Tibetan Saddle is dated about about 1920, so it is not old. The saddle is made from small sections of wood. I doubt if larger pieces of wood are easy to find in Tibet. Although they may have been imported from China. Until the wood speckled is identified it is hard to say what the origin of the material is. The saddle is covered with sharkskin known as shagreen. this is further edged with silver of a very base kind. The saddle is held together with lashings of leather or raw hide, knotted and twisted to keep it firmly in place. There are fixing for the stirrups and for a breast plate and a crupper. I purchased it with the crupper and the stirrups irons, they can be found in the appropriate sections. It has been damaged underneath and so is not usable. It measures 16 inches from pommel to cantle and 19 inches from the lower frame and 14 inches across. It would be been used in conjunction with a fleece or a saddle blanket.  The shagreen was quite black when I purchased it along with the silver which I carefully cleaned with vinegar. It took some while to remove all the smoke which indicated it was a genuine artefact. Shagreen is a condition of the retina, called after it because it resembles the small white blobs on the surface of the sharks skin. The Shagreen would have been imported from China along with the silver.

Purchased in 2012 from Crows Auction Sale, Dorking.