The beautiful saddle above is made of wood, covered with panels of ivory and painted with lapis lazuli paint. The white looks very pretty against the dark lapis background. Click on the images to enlarge them.
It doesn't look like the world's most comfortable saddle, but it is good enough for a short tour through the town I suppose. Below I have done some closeups of that magnificent saddle. One could spend an hour just drooling over this one item! But there are so many more, that all I could do was make a really good picture and analyze it later.
Below is a closeup of the left side of the saddle horn. The lizard like shape wrapping around the top is the body and tail of a dragon...whose head is found curling down to the right. There is another on the right side of the saddle horn. There is something written on a panel tucked underneath, but between the glass flare and the odd angle, I didn't get it. To be honest, I had no idea it was there until now! The Hapsburg shield is on a heavenly wheel...a cheeky reference to the importance of the Emperor!
And St. George with his Dragon.
And the heavenly hosts down below. These may be maidens being kept by the dragon for later, but just as easily, they are angels.
Even the bottom plaques are heavily carved...this cherub is tucked into the clouds down at the lower left of the composition.
A damsel with a head on a stick, hercules with his club, and a couple of grotesques.
Adam and Eve, and a rampant lion.
The right hand side of the saddle....showing a little of the wear.
Four figures dancing...a man dancing with a raven, and a woman dancing with a long eared animal with human feet. The motif is continued the next panel down. Interesting monsters!
I am fairly certain we are looking at Hercules with his club...but perhaps we are seeing Sampson pulling down the temple. Hercules is more likely, except for the lack of the lion headed cape.
Below is a tiger, grooming its cubs, and to the right, a pelican in its piety....hard to see, but the pelican is biting its breast to supply blood for the hungry chicks. This is a common motif, or I would never have known what it was.
Below, are two very nice and well dressed annunciation angels. (The sroll in the hand of the top angel is a dead giveaway
And finally, below are an eagle and a unicorn.
I hope you enjoyed the closeup study of these as much as I did. Again, if you click on them, you go to the gallery, and you can get right back here by clicking "off" the gallery, that is, by clicking elswhere than on the gallery itself.