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Saddle cover

Saddle cover

  • Place of origin:

    Iran (made)

  • Date:

    1830-1870 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Unknown (designed and made by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    cotton yarn, silk thread, metal thread, weaving, printing, embroidering, sewing.

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

Saddle cover of felted wool embroidered with silk in tambour or chain stitch, padded, interlined with plain weave cotton, trimmed with woven silk and metal thread braid and backed with roller printed plain weave cotton.

A slightly rounded rectangle with a curved panel added along the bottom. The main panel is red felted wool with a decorative border of large rosettes, buds, stems and leaves in white, yellow, dark blue, light blue and grey with small white roundels scattered over the red field between yellow edging rows. This border is broken at the sides by an ornamental arch form in green and white under which is depicted a forward-facing lion, sword and sun motif and at the top by a plant form from which long curving fronds in yellow and white meeting 2 others in green and white, all terminating in a lobed leaf form in green and white. A floral spray either side completes this surface area. All in tambour/chain stitch. This section is bound with pink silk satin edged with black silk and silver-gilt thread.
The curved lower panel has four decorative bands of similar decoration rather carelessly stitched together: [a] joined to [c] at both sides is a narrow band of dark blue felted wool decorated with a broken yellow stem meander bearing leaves in alternately [faded] pink and green leaves and spiral blossoms in orange of [faded] pink with yellow centres; again small white roundels are scattered on the ground.
[b] a wide band of white felted wool densely packed with large rosette heads in red, yellow and [faded] brown-pink or red, green and faded brown-pink, with simple leaf-stem forms in dark green bearing berries and buds in various colours placed between, above and below.
[d] repetition of the rounded rectangle's border.
At the top of the cover there is the introduction of a bright turquoise silk, and a white band edging on both ends in less dense tambour/chain. It marks the seaming of a central piece, so perhaps the original was worn and replaced.
Braid: 2 cm wide braid around the outer edge of the curved panel. Woven silk and metal thread: red warp with fine yellow silk binding warp and a weft pattern of green botehs and leaves on a metal thread weft ground. This braid has been applied over a bias-cut strip of green silk.
Metal Thread: silver-gilt or copper strip close Z-wound on a cream silk core.
Backing: roller printed cotton with a red ground with a white pattern and composite stripes of lines and chevrons.
Interlining: visible at the top: yellow plain weave cotton over some form of padding.

Place of Origin

Iran (made)


1830-1870 (made)


Unknown (designed and made by)

Materials and Techniques

cotton yarn, silk thread, metal thread, weaving, printing, embroidering, sewing.


Length: 79 cm maximum, Width: 114 cm maximum

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Published in 'Iranian Textiles' by Jennifer Wearden and Patricia L Baker (V&A Publishing, 2010) Plate 82.


Equestrian equipment; Transport


Middle East Section

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