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This elaborate and fine 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 fifteen scallop-shaped plaques in solid silver that retain remnants of gold plating (gilding) and sixteen gilded silver beads. The plaques and beads have been attached to a rope strap bound with a blue twine. The rope has a silver hook and eyelet at either end to allow the trapping to be looped.
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 Archeret al, 1987, p. 58).
The condition of the set is excellent; the plaques have a lovely patina.
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.