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Silver-Gilt Mughal-Style Horse Trapping
18th-19th century

length/height: 51cm, width: 23.5cm, weight: 1,222g

This spectacular set of gilded silver horse trappings would have been used for a Muslim wedding in northern India, in either the 18th or 19th centuries, or
possibly in association with a procession of an Islamic ruler. The set comprises thirteen separate plaques in solid silver that retain remnants of gold plating
(gilding). The plaques have been attached to a leather strap (suggesting their Muslim rather than Hindu provenance.)

Each of the plaques is decorated with a tear-drop pattern designed to shimmer like costly, flat-cut diamonds, against a ring-mat background. An eighteenth
century set of
pandan boxes and trays, rosewater sprinklers and scent holders in the Clive Collection at Powis Castle is decorated in the same fashion (see
Zebrowski, 1997, p. 48, and Archer
et al, 1987, p. 58).

The main plaques, numbering ten in total, comprise architectural-like domes with bud finials that rise from square plates, and are undoubtedly influenced by
northern Indian Islamic architecture in their form.

The condition of the set is fine given their age and use. There is the expected minor denting but  the trapping is showy, much of the gilding remains bright, and
overall is a particularly attractive, stable ensemble.

Archer, M.
et al, Treasures from India: The Clive Collection at Powis Castle, The National Trust, 1987.
Zebrowski, M.,
Gold, Silver & Bronze from Mughal India, Alexandria Press, 1997.

Provenance: UK art market

Inventory no.: 2462

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